together in solitude

together in solitude

two days after christmas, we went to a cabin in Estes Park, to be alone to be together. my brothers and i, our aging parents. even though we come from different blood, i consider them my brothers. perhaps our genetic barrier is what forces us to make the extra effort to be closer to one another. honestly, i don’t know what i’d do without them

the YMCA encourages you to find your inner child. the boys went ice skating, roller skating, hiked a bit, smoked cigarette after cigarette and navigated their free time like two teenagers who’d cut class. enjoyment of life seemed a novelty to them. uncomfortable with time, time that was theirs, to do with it what they pleased. they made wooden airplanes, powered by twisted rubber bands and flew them in an open field in the middle of the rocky mountains, wearing black pea coats and thin socks.

it’s as if they didn’t belong. and that is ok.

adjusting to your old home, coming back from living far away, making the familiar the foreign and the foreign the familiar is one of the most alienating life experiences. i feel the same way, when returning to colorado, my home, the land of beards & beer & mountains. it’s what i dream of, and it’s what fuels my insomnia.

my mother made tea. my dad went fishing. we came together and played games and silently picked puzzle pieces together as the sky lost light and the moon crept over the tops of some jagged, rusting mountains in the distance.

the fire warmed my legs. i moved the grate as little sparks spat out, and ben yelled, concerned i didn’t know what i was doing. i knew. i always know. even if it’s to my detriment, i always know.

i took long walks with my mother. she’s aging, but simultaneously discovering the child she never had the time to be. her dedication to a new path, yoga, Ayurveda, conjures up a new light and energy in her i have never seen before – perhaps it’s because i was too young to care to look. now, i look for her spark, i cherish it. i beg her to cherish it herself. it’s far too easy to worry about a mother who worries too much. my mother worries too much. as a perfect daughter, i would give her nothing to worry about. i’m always striving to do just that.

our time at the cabin was tense, a bit, but one of the times i will cherish most. i will cherish learning how to be a big sister to my big brother. i will cherish learning to turn the car on an old relationship and embrace driving down a new road, in a new direction, creating new definitions of what it means to “love”. we are not what we were, and i must learn to love what we are and what we will be. i want my brother back. and once he finds himself and his power and happiness, i will once again hold his hand and walk down the black beaches of La Jolla and talk of tide pools, of sunshine, of things that matter and things that don’t.