It had been almost five years since I last saw Cuz - and even then, it was my first time meeting her in person. Funny enough, she felt familiar to me; our kinship was easy and natural. Maybe it was our same age (we were born a few months apart), the fact that we both named our daughters Darcy or that our parents were sibs -- whatever the reasons, there was just something that bound us soulfully. We built our friendship over the phone and by sharing playful emails and messages. She lamented that none of the extended family had ever made it out to see her in her digs, her own environment. She is anxious to share and this past weekend, I was fortunate enough to accept her warm hospitality.
She and her kidlet picked me up and the airport and gave me the grand driving tour. We talked excitedly - a strong family trait - as she drove the curves and contours of the coastline. Occasionally kidlet nudged a word in from the back seat.
We walked the pier and the environmental sanctuary across from her home. The warm sunshine and floral-scented wisps were a welcomed respite from the harsh winter we are still dueling in my part of the country. Blossoms dripped from heavy tree limbs and the landscape was smeared with the glory and colour of springtime. Sea air mingled with fresh pristine air. I inhaled deeply and exhaled stress and the toxins of overload.
Her home is a picture perfect ginger bread cottage. The remnants of home baking greeted us when we burst through the door. The lemon loaves and rhubarb-apple pie were irresistible, and deeply satisfying. Comfort food for comforting times. Her brother and his wife joined us for a visit later in the evening. We swapped memories and other chit chat but stopped short of politics.
I eased back in my big comfy chair and took a mental picture to preserve the moment. I reveled in the peace and contentment I felt. I wondered what her mother would think of us finding one another. Family is funny like that... it's embedded in our DNA and if we let it, we can feel the pull to congregate and spend time together. My take away or revelation -- just how incredibly blessed we are to belong to something bigger than all of us; and the love that is there to be shared - if we so choose.
Here are some images from my west coast weekend, and in respect for her privacy, I have not included the shots of my beautiful cousin and her kidlet. The pictures took themselves...