home with the boys

This semester, I suppose my greatest gift has been time with my family. I don't think that spending time overseas, or bustling around Washington, could have afforded me the peace of heart that I've found in being with my family. I struggle with being back at community college for a semester, vying for whomever's car is free at the moment, and feeling like I just can't do quite enough to feel like I'm in the rush of things. But I don't think the rush of things was what I needed. I think what I needed was Ryan (in the ripped up shorts below) making me laugh and calling me Bonita. What I needed was my cousin's football games at Del Oro, and Gramps behind me yelling at the refs. I needed to have my hair wrecked by Uncle Jim, and for Alec (pictured below with shaggy hair) to send me texts from school saying that he loves me.

I needed Dad to pick me up from work with Scout barking from the car, excited to see me.

I needed boyfriend to come and see the places I grew up in. I needed to know that he would love what I loved, see in it what I saw. I guess I didn't feel complete in who we were until I knew that he had seen where I was from and met my family, and knew that they loved him - and that he loved not just me, but the places I became myself in. I needed him to answer when I pushed him about whether we were compatible. I didn't know it, but I needed to have him say, "I love you. Isn't that all you need to know? What more could you want?"

I needed someone to tell me to hush, and to look around.

I needed to return to the rivers I splashed in as a little girl and play "queen of the rock" with Jor while swimming in the summer heat. I needed to laugh and yell and tell stories, and be embarrassed that a close by fisherman had been listening.

I needed my mother.

I suppose I am one of those luckies, and I forget that - I'm one the people you meet who have a rock solid foundation underneath, a family who loves and nurtures and meets me where I'm at. I've had adopted "sisters," girls without brothers who think they're beautiful and fathers who teach them to play soccer who have spent time in my home and healed. They tell me to look around and notice what I have.

The following photos were taken in Newcastle, CA last night before dinner. I wanted to combine the change in my little brothers with the places I remember them running in, chubby and little enough for me to boss around. These pictures capture places I've held in my mind for a long time.

I remember riding with Grandpa in his Jimmy when I was little. I remember loving root beer from the Cheese Factory. I remember waiting to see the train tracks in Newcastle, so I would know we were almost to Grandma's. I remember being intrigued by the bar in Newcastle. I used to stare at it while I sat on the bench in front of my grandparent's pizza store.

I'm thankful for the places that welcome us back, and remind us that we, too, have roots and places we can sink into. I was weary for a place that felt like my own.

(all photos mine - although, many of these poses were not my choice. I did NOT ask Ryan to climb into a dumpster, nor did I tell him to do push ups on the train tracks. He wouldn't climb out or get off of the tracks until I promised I had taken the shots. Dynamic subjects, these boys...).


Carsen said...

your brothers are handsome.