July 7, 2013

My sister and me. . .

Looking at them they don't really look alike.   One is taller and at one time was a brunette, while the other one is short and was always referred to as a dishwater blonde.
The resemblances are there, though, most evident in the body language I suppose, but now in their sunset years (ha ha) their hair matches up nicely!
The River walk in Carson City is a favorite place~ a wetlands area in the midst of desert terrain.   Together they walk the path in the waning day.  It is October and the light slips away with the sun behind the mountains.   Quickly the sky becomes opalescent with colors of pearl and doubles upon itself in the water of the pond.   The cattails and bulrushes bend down for a last view of themselves and a bird alights on a slender reed.  The new moon hangs in the pale blue light and the beauty of the moment is eloquent--beyond words.  It vibrates as electric current between them, and there is a knowing that is understood.  They discuss the subtle colors of the desert, name the birds and the waterfowl, their talk just a dusting over feelings that lie close to their hearts.
What is this bond?  Common memories and experiences? Life has taken them down widely different and separate paths, yet these paths twist and curl and inevitably end at the beginning --in childhood.  These were children born and raised in the depression years--a time of deprivation and struggle, yet to these two, come images of a simpler life, a basic uncomplicated existence; where few toys and unlimited use of the imagination, allowed them to create their own amusements. With a freedom unheard of in today’s world  they roamed and explored, got dirty, had Saturday night baths in a wash tub by the kitchen stove, with several layers of caked on dirt to soak off.   Then to bed in sheets that had hung out on the clothesline in the sun, cozy in flannel pajamas, and snuggled together in the same bed.  Waking in the morning and reading stories from Aesops Fables, Arabian Nights, Robinson Crusoe, Childs Garden of Verses, and Mother Goose, The Scarecrow of Oz--those were our books then, and we knew them by heart.  It is no wonder that they know how the other thinks--they learned to think together.
They were not unique in their bonding, but I believe the children of that era do share the uniqueness of being the last generation to have benefited from that uncomplicated existence, and to have gleaned certain basic truths---that life is not only possible, but much richer without many of the things that we think are necessary today; that children are often better served by less than by more; that they will create, invent, devise or imagine their own entertainment, and be better for it.

This October of 2000, was the time chosen for a reunion of 3 cousins.  These 3 girls along with another sister now gone, grew up in this same small corner of the world, walked the same paths, climbed the same fences and trees, shared the same grandma, aunties and uncles and cousins.  In each other they see echoes of their mothers, reflections 
of themselves in each others eyes, and hear familiar cadences in each others voices.  This coming together was a special time, made more special by the magnificence of the environs of Lake Tahoe where they walked the shores and stood beneath the splendor of the big trees. . . . . .and remembered.
They were not the first nor will they be the last to have this heart-opening experience, but this was exclusively and particularly ours. . . because it was us.
Betty Owen Journal
October 2000

No comments: