Monday, March 12, 2012

Thankful Focus

I just remembered... Mom, wasn't I going to download your pictures to my computer, so you could add them to your memory stick? Oy. Somebody forgot.

I knew it. I knew that it wouldn't take long before I would miss my mom, before I would think of something I meant to do, or say, and she would be just out of range for a quick visit, a drop-by. Same goes for my brother, who lives just far enough out of my time zone that I can't run by and watch the kids, or say good-bye to Georgie, their dear kitty. And this is the hard part about living too far apart from loved ones. Yes, we can make trips, and visit, but I miss the daily stuff, the casual and informal, the spontaneous contact.

Oh. And none of this has much to do with peafowl and wisteria. Not much, but maybe a little something.

The something is the happy memories Delia and I made, together, when we went exploring, before she left. I took her to Leo Carillo Ranch, Los Quiotes. Each of us with our Big Beautiful Black cameras, each of us with an eye toward enjoying the serenity and bloom of late winter. I can describe what I see in each image, but more interesting and dear to me, is what I remember and feel when I see these images... it's all about our exchanges, the ideas, and plans we talked about as we strolled the grounds, and followed the calls of the peacocks.

We covered a lot of ground... a distant past, hers in East Los Angeles, upstairs from her friend, slipping away to test the boundaries and find new sights. Recent adventures, like dinner with Hans and Gretchen. Our cameras focused on our surroundings, and our thoughts on each other, and our families, the grocery list, the pick-up times, the butterflies, and colors.

We agree... Grandma would love it here, and we want to convince her to let us give her a wheelchair ride across the parking lots, so she can reserve her walking legs for the pretty places, so she can have a pleasurable stroll where there is no hurry, no finish line.

Mom, when are you coming back? When can we bring Grandma, and Becky? Or maybe we can see The Huntington, this summer...

We'll make plans, and have more visits. But I do wish we did not have to work around airports and long stretches of highway. I wish I could drive around, picking up family along the way, stopping here for an impromptu picnic, a stroll. Nothing elaborate, nothing to make reservations for... just simple.

The wisteria is blooming. I love that it thrives, looks this beautiful, even in really lousy soil. Isn't that amazing? It's good, to remind me to keep moving forward, to give my best, even when circumstances are not as favorable as I wish. Even though I admit that missing my family makes me sad, I do appreciate the beauty of our moments together, our means of staying close, and the memories we build when we finally do get to be in each others company.

Thank you, Mommy. For everything. You know, life and all, and the memories. And thank you, so very much, for being generous with your time and focus, for always coming to us, me and my brothers, all the family. You are a blessing, Ron, too. I see it... how much you both do to keep that long stretch of highway between us less distant, more accessible. I love you both for doing this, for keeping us all closer.


ArtyZen said...

What a lovely post, Natalie. And you couldn't possibly know but peacocks and wisteria are two things that are almost unbearably nostalgic for me. It is my overwhelming desire to have a house where I can grow wisteria - I absolutely adore it. And the cry of peacocks stirs me so much that I sometimes wonder whether I have been one in a previous life!
Stunning photos and lovely, lovely words! As always.

Janece said...

This post is beauty and grace. You. Your beautiful mommy. Your gorgeous photography. They are moment-altering. You took me somewhere with you two. Thank you!

Love you!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I appreciate your longing for a house and home, where you can grow what you love... I look forward to that day, when it comes for you. I really loved hearing the peacocks. Incredibly loud, exotic, almost mystical. Our neighbors would never forgive us if we brought some home, but I would not mind seeing and hearing them.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Love to you, too, Janece.
Some day you will join us for reals... I know it!
You and Amira have been extra much in my heart and thoughts.
Let us know if we can do anything to bridge the miles between you and Paul. This will be a worthwhile wait, but I'm sure there are minutes and nights that pass too slowly, and I am sorry about that.