September 08, 2013

A Summer Celebration

Early in August I left the flat I lived in for two years. Im leaving almost everything behind, going forward only with a suitcase. It is all too heavy for me, the books and the plates, the cds and the chairs, I store them all somewhere dark so I dont have to look at it anymore. My brother and I load a small truck with boxes, my arms strenghten under the weight. As I bring the last box to the truck, I let my fingers dark with dirt stroke the walls and the glass door of the building, feeling nostalgic already. The next day, I sat on the floor, listening to the noises around, voices in the building and wind rushing in the street. The place look almost as peaceful as the day we moved in. The large window bay open on an quiet backyard with green fern that make it look like a jungle. I remember the morning light over my head as I woke up, soft hazy light filtered by the leaves. I close the window and suddenly the room feels crowded, full of the past, like we draw each of our adventures on the walls. I wonder if someone will live in here after us. I wonder if ten years from now the room will be covered in spiderwebs. I slam the door deafeningly, to cover the sound of my footsteps going away.

I went back to my mothers house, and to the yellowish garden that craves water. My bag is heavy with all the things I couldnt leave behind. My childhood bedroom seems smaller everytime I come back, the ceiling lower. Nothing has changed much. The faded photographs I took in high-school are still glued to the wall ; above my bed hang the dream-catchers I used to make out of wool and twigs to pass the long winter.

We went to visit my sisters family to celebrate a birthday. Summer is quiet here, wrapped in a purple haze and troubled by the bumble-bees buzzing all around. Three kittens are playing in the lavender bushes. I chase them with my camera along the roof tiles. My nieces grow up so fast it is impossible to follow. The eldest, Selma, went from a red-headed baby to an tall girl with auburn hair, but she still has almond-shaped blue eyes, surrounded by the darkest lashes. Her sister Nour shares the same face, but her skin is darker and so is her hair. Shes more quiet, more fierce. She gave beautiful smiles, and the next minute, she doesnt seem to remember you.

My sisters face feels more and more familiar to me as we grow older. For so long she was this woman so much taller than me, the color of her hair and eyes contrasting with mine. She was fair and I was dark. She was already a mother when I was barely four. Now we talk together for hours and laugh together, and it seems all the years between us have disappeared. I still look at her with deference, as if I was contemplating an aging queen, the fair wisps of hair beside her cheekbones slowly turning to the mightiest grey. I can see that she is proud of me and I feel honored that I have her for a big sister.

Everytime I come home I have to take a few days to adapt to the stillness and the quiet. But when I finally do, its already time to pack a bag and leave for the mountains. So I say my goodbyes to the people who hold me so tender in their hearts.

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