With Joy We Welcome Our Newest Grandchild

Blog, On Writing, What I'm Thinking

To Karsten Michael—

We rejoice in your birth, and we welcome you to the world! One more reason to be grateful on Thanksgiving Day! 

Thanksgiving Day, 2017, marked 55 years since I arrived in this country. I was only 14 years older than you were on the day you first arrived.  Back then, it’s unlikely that I could have imagined a grandchild in my future, or guessed that his name would be Karsten. 

Here is our wish for you:

You’re named after several fine men in your father’s family, and you bear the name of your mother’s grandfather, Martin “Mike” Ackerman. May you learn easily the best and kindest qualities of these men.

Names are important—and you are the only person we know who is blessed to be named after both the animate and the inanimate. In your life, may you move fluidly between these two worlds.

In your integrity and determination, may you be rock solid. But may your strength be tempered by a giving nature, like the rocks from which karst is formed so that you know when to stand firm and when to give way.

 When you need to be, may you be light and porous; when appropriate, may you be impervious to the world. And may you learn easily when each quality is called for.        

May the landscape of your life be as interesting and beautiful as the karst landscapes that give you your name so that you never lack for wonderous places to go and fascinating things to explore.