I know my family would prefer that I live within walking distance or a short drive away in Northern California and so many times, perhaps on a daily basis, I ache to have them near to witness our life unfold and me witness theirs. This is why I have a private family blog where I post many (I mean many) photos every single day for them to see. I carry my iPhone with me everywhere I go and bless Cedar for fully grasping the why of that now. Sometimes he'll even pose for me, knowing that it is for our family.
I have been so grateful of how supportive they have been of this move. They knew how rough it was for us living in that condo loft 3 stories high away from nature and surrounded by concrete once we had Cedar. They were worried about our illness and constant lung infections and by the time we left, all they wanted for us was relief. None of them had been to Bellingham, so of course there was concern but they had learned to accept and honor and sometimes even celebrate my gypsy ways. ; )
A few weeks into us living here, I heard a shift in all of their voices. A shift from worry to excitement. I heard things like "you live in paradise" or "fae land" or "its so enchanting". Each of them anxious to visit, knowing not only will they see us but they will feel like they are on vacation. Now they get it. They get why we fell deeply in love with this place. They get how this town just wraps around us so warmly and perfectly like a glove. How the energy here, the people and their chill, earthy, conscious ways are so kindred and like minded to us. It feels so good to have their support and it feels even better to finally provide them with a space to stay and relax (our other space was too tiny for more than one person to stay over).
It was so dreamy to have my niece Angela and her fiance here almost a month ago (I cannot wait to share photos from their engagement session soon...if they will let me! Please??). She was the first of my side of the family to stay in our home and my heart melted when she reported back to the family how happy we were and how in love with this town she was. A few weeks later, her mom...my dear oldest sister Darlene aka "Auntie DD" came to play.
Cedar and Auntie DD share such a unique connection. I swear they are on the same brainwavelength (is that a word? If not, I like it anyways). Darlene has always been able to enter into a child's way of thinking and explore their world in such a magical way. It is so absolutely fun to watch and of course Cedar is deeply enchanted by and attached to her. Every time she is with him and then leaves, we notice he does what we call "Auntie DD-isms"...a new language or a new way of play or a new world they created together that sticks with him and becomes part of his quirkiness. So, I just think they are both quirky souls. ; )
I am so grateful for this relationship between them. He needs it and deserves it and is so nourished by it.
When my older sisters were having babies and raising them, I was in my pre to late teenage years (they had their babes when they were 19 or 20 years old). I lived an hour from them and needless to say, was a bit consumed and wrapped up in my own busy High School/College/Gypsy world. I was the young aunt that I think was seen more as a sister to my nieces and nephews. I know I wasn't around as much as my sisters may have needed and of course until I was a mother, I didn't quite get how they may have needed me. I know for the most part, they knew my heart and understood the place I was in my life. And my nieces and nephews always felt my love. I cherished and adored being the aunt they would tell their secrets to (and share clothes with!). But now that I am a mother in my late 30's and not around family, I appreciate so so much everything each of them does to stay connected to Cedar. I will never take this for granted and I know Cedar will not either.
It was wonderful to see Darlene thriving after breathing in the fresh ocean air of Bellingham. Her strength was endless. She has had Lupus for over 20 years and we never know how traveling will be on her bones. Well, I am sooo happy to say that what surrounds our home is medicine to her bones! One of my most favorite memories is when she went on a walk alone with a basket and returned with a bouquet of wild flowers she had picked in our neighborhood to adorn our house with. Another one is our date together. We went out to dinner ALONE and had a pretty pink drink and talked for hours about psychic gifts, God, Jesus and witches. You know...she just gets me. She allows so much room for how my heart beats and how my mind thinks. She gently respects and honors our differences and that is all anyone needs to feel safe in a relationship, right? Our ten year difference in age has shifted from her mothering me to her honoring me as a mother (she said this is the most independent she has ever seen me) and being my sister and close friend. And I love when her nose gets pink when she's had a drink. ; )
A few more photos from our time together...