Saturday, November 27, 2021
Maria, class of 2022
These are a couple of the pictures I snapped as we were leaving the professional portrait studio. She could have had her senior portraits taken last June, but the truth is: I was stalling! It all goes so quickly as it is, so I couldn't possibly be expected to do this any sooner than absolutely necessary. I shared on Instagram, too. All of the likes, or hearts... those really touch me, along with the kind words, and recognition. Not for the attention, alone, but to experience sharing with our community, to feel a part of a greater family. We do not raise our children in a vacuum, on a remote island, and the support, interest, and kindness of everyone we know, near and far, means a lot to me. It means we belong, we have connections, role models, we know caregivers, and have been surrounded by love... those are tremendous gifts. Thank you, for seeing us, and our daughter, for caring, and keeping her in good thoughts, thank you for engaging with us, and inspiring us, for welcoming us. We feel fortunate to be a part of network of kindness and compassion.
"We were together. I forget the rest." ~Walt Whitman
I don't actually attribute this sentiment to Whitman, but to my dear friend, Jennifer. She gave me the tea towel, and she brings hers out each year, fresh, pressed, lovingly preserved. I am reminded of her quietly open, honest expression, her mindfulness in intention and action, and that no matter the time that has passed, or what things have gone unspoken, she will remind me what matters. We were together.
Inclusion is an idea, a message, that has been foremost, and recurring in recent days. I am still ruminating, still feeling my way around emotions, events, wishes, but I have some ideas about this, about what it means to be a part of a family, in a circle of loved ones, or outside of it, and bewildered. Yeah, just contemplating, but this I know for sure... it's lovely to be invited, or even to feel as though you are thought of, included in spirit. I long for the days when we can travel more freely, more readily, when masks and social distancing can be safely put aside for warm embraces, long visits. I can't wait to throw open our doors, to invite in wider, and wider circles of friends. I have fond memories of family reunions, graduations, weddings, birthdays, holidays, of traveling long miles to show up at a brother's door, to meet in the woods, to band together, to rally for a cause, and memories are a happy reminder of blessings... still, I am eager to add more, to have plans, to look ahead, to find our kin, to be welcoming, to be welcome in. my Eel River innertube? It's oddly, yet proudly, displayed atop the electronics cabinet. Don't ask me why. And don't ask me how I managed to come home with a massive supply of single-ply and unperforated toilet paper, which is the worst and most annoying kind of tp, apart from corn husks, in the world. Life is never dull. I hope you were together, invited, included, that you have a plate of leftovers, and some good memories of other gatherings, of good times when you were together with ones you love, and who love you back. I hope you have plans for more, for looking forward.