The Power of Tradition
“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”
A picture of the bonfire at the Fourth of July picnic a couple years ago.
A tradition is more than a mere celebration; it is a way of life and has an important impact and influence on who we are as people. Twice every year the small Barnstable yacht club community gets together in our humble clubhouse, sandy lawn blending into the rocky beach and marsh and its magnificent pier stretching out into our beloved harbor. It is in these magical picnics when I feel the power of tradition at its full strength. This is a time to catch up with old friends and acquaintances, get to know those members of the community you don’t know, and just enjoy this precious time and place. Everyone meets each other with warm welcoming arms whether or not they were close and this creates an atmosphere so powerful it is impossible to describe to someone who has never experienced it. Every year I obtain many positive memories but one sticks out. This was one of the fondest memories I have ever had and it occurred at one of these picnics around 5 years ago. My family and two other families that we are so close to that they might as well be family were always the last people to leave. My good friend Taylor and her family owned the boat shop next store and at that store, she had her home-made go-cart which, as a young boy I thought was the coolest thing ever. By this point in the night, we were the only ones there and the road to the yacht club and boat shop was barren: the perfect opportunity for some go-carting. So that’s exactly what we did. We flew out from the boat shop, into the yacht club parking lot leaving donut marks in the grey gravel. Then we raced up the long winding driveway hitting speeds incomprehensible by my young self. We continued on taking turns between me, my siblings, Taylor, and our friends Tommy and Helen. By the time the night was over I knew that these were my people, this was my place and I can’t wait until next time. It was because of this yearly tradition that I created a lifelong memory and secured many friendships that will continue to prosper for many years to come.