Tag Archives: Brother

Thankfulness Thursday: Unconditional Love

Autumn sunbeams and floating spider webs above a crystal clear alpine lake,

Warmth and family.

Mom, brother, and one dirty, happy dog.

Driving north on 1-5 Tuesday morning, alone, save for Simon buckled up in the backseat, tears streamed down my face. Headed to visit my mom, who lives three and a half hours away, four words rang true in my head:

I need my mom.

I rarely think those words. I love my mom, yes, but at 29, I rarely think I need her. Realizing these words are still true, I was overtaken by emotion. I need my mom. Words so true tears had to follow.

Separated by time and space, I often forget I need her. We talk less than we should, weekly phone calls stretching into 10 days, 11, 12, sometimes 14. We see each other maybe four times a year. Important visits, but I forget I still need her.

I need that woman who cuts fresh flowers each time I visit, bakes me pies and rubs my head. The woman who plays Scrabble with me and still offers to brush my hair. The very woman who used to call me her baby and carry me around in her arms. Driving alone, I realized I need my mom.

Today I am thankful for a few days in Mt. Shasta, the sun still warm, my mom, my brother, and my dog. Sitting around playing games late into the night. My brother showing me his project with the earth, the cob home he is building, the greenhouse with its foundation, the desk and pile of books alone in the woods. Reminding me of the meaning of unconditional love.

Driving south on I-5 today, rain dotting my dusty windshield, soulful music playing loudly, instead of crying, I smiled and sang at the top of my lungs. Time well spent, reinvigorated, alive. I am thankful for family, our roots strong and connected like trees, unconditional.


Join in for Thankfulness Thursday and link up your post with Ashley at Domestic Fashionista!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Seek Out Sunsets

My brother has a ritual.  No matter where he is or what he is doing, he must stop and watch the sunset every single day.  The first couple times I was around for this, I thought, really, we have to wait until it is all the way down?

But then I watched him, sitting on the hillside, the magnificent display of colors in the sky as the sun slipped beneath the coastal mountain range off in the distance, and I understood.  Watching the entire sunset every evening is an act of gratitude to life and this amazing planet we inhabit.  It is so easy to forget to look at the sky, to miss its daily beauty, a show put on for us two times each day in case we miss the first.

This summer, when we were in Kauai, every evening was a celebration of the sinking sun.  Cars and people would stop, where ever they might be, pulling off the road even, to watch the entire show.  As the colors grew more amazing, more people would arrive, and soon there would be an audience of strangers brought together to witness the beauty of the sky, a certain surreal joy felt by locals and tourists alike.

That’s when I decided my brother belonged in Kauai, a place where people stop nightly to watch the setting sun. But, maybe it’s not just my brother that belongs there.  Maybe we all do, or rather we deserve to live a life where there is time and willpower enough to stop and enjoy the show as part of a greater community.

To me, seeking out sunsets is symbolic of something much more profound– it represents a commitment to being present in a world that pulls us all directions at once.  I thank my brother for teaching me this and look forward to tonight’s setting sun spent with family.

One evening in Kauai, we stumbled across this overlook where locals go to watch the sunset from their cars.

Another evening, another Kauai sunset, everyone drawn out onto the golf course to watch the show, children dancing, playing, a heightened sense of presence, alive.

I regret not stopping and taking in every last moment of this gorgeous dropping sun on the Oregon coast.

Last one, my family’s backyard. Proof the sunset is beautiful everywhere, especially at home.

Tagged , , , ,