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Waxing poetic about time, treasure and sisters

There are moments of sweetness I can hardly describe. The kind of sweetness that aches, that wraps its tiny fingers around your heart and squeezes a little bit too hard. It’s the sweetness of endings and beginnings. Of beginnings as endings.

My sister had a baby this week, and I was there. She rested her head on my shoulder as she slumped her back forward to receive an epidural. I rubbed her feet and laughed with her while we waited. I was there, and I looked into her face while she collected her energy and courage between pushes. Her face calm, fierce, focused.

Today is Jo’s last day of preschool before summer. I lingered with Cal at circle time and listened while Jo’s teacher told him and his class about the treasure hunt. All those smooth, soft, warm 3 and 4 year olds sitting cross legged on the carpet, listening.

“There might be times when you’re hunting that you just want everything. When you see a big pile of treasure and you want it and all the treasure in the world for yourself. When you feel that way, you can put your hand on your heart like this and say, ‘I have gold fever.’ When you have gold fever, it’s a good idea to slow down, and come in to the snack table and have a little bit of water, and maybe a snack. And then you can put your hand on your chest again and say, ‘There’s enough treasure for everybody.'”

As I sit here, writing this, Jo is probably surveying his gold, nestled in his treasure bag, or digging deeper into the sandbox for more booty, or treating his gold fever with some celery and hummus. And my sister is probably looking down at that new girl of hers, cupping her tiny head in her palm, smoothing her black hair down with the rhythmic stroke of a thumb.

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Time is passing, just flowing right through. It brings babies, it takes childhoods, it grows chickens and firmly closes doors behind us. No more preschool. No more pregnancy. But this now. Treasure hunting. Newborn nieces. Tree limbs arcing up to sun and wind.

The passage of time is not lost on us. But we get lost inside it sometimes. The monotony can be a real trickster. Today is the same as yesterday. Time for the Wednesday routine again. Wake, run around, sleep, repeat.

Thank goodness for endings. And beginnings. The bookends of time. They hold us upright and keep us honest. They remind, with their firmness, that things can change. Sisters can become mothers. Boys can become treasure hunters. Life can be unbearably good.

My faceless photo tribute to wedding season

I’ve been AWOL for the last few weeks because my sister got married. Again. She’s the one who went and had a wedding in Sudan back in November.

Photo by Terri Jirousek

So this was wedding #2. The California version. It was a super-glam, international peace fest.

This was in stark contrast to A’s and my wedding, nearly 7 years ago–a high mountain desert, home-grown affair, made even more complete by some serious weather drama.

My dear sister and I are both married off. Check and check. And now that I’m on the other side of all of the wedding dress fittings and family drama, I’ve been feeling relieved and a bit empty. Why do weddings engulf so completely and then wash away without a trace? It’s too much and then not enough. I miss having long-lost friends in town and events to dress up for at night. I miss thinking and talking about love too much and laughing over greasy pub food when I’m tipsy. But it’s also nice to be sitting on the couch in my goats t-shirt (I’m really into goats) and watching crappy tv. I needed a break from having heart-to-heart conversations with people I love every 5 minutes.

Happy wedding season, everyone.  They can lift us up, let us down, push us around, and then they are simply over.

p.s. Isn’t it kind of awesome how when you crop the faces out of photos they become more universal? Wanna add yours to the mix? Find a favorite wedding photo, crop the heads out and share it on my facebook page!