Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Old Driveway In Gower

Life has been nonstop since our trip to Missouri and Arkansas. But the pictures are still here waiting for me to write words alongside them. As a tired and (often) pregnant mom, I don't write as routinely or well as I would like. What I do enjoy about keeping up a blog is how time is organized here in this space. I have my thoughts alongside pictures for months upon months. Many memories and seasons I would have probably already forgotten even now. I gain greater understanding about life by looking back at photos and words, even if they are my own. It feels like I was able to slow down time and look back and see what was happening more clearly.

Even just a few weeks later, looking back at pictures of our trip to the Midwest I see some things so clearly now. I remember before we left I told Andrew's mom I was excited to let Blanche ride bikes "in the street." Because in the street is a mostly quiet cul-de-sac that sees little traffic. I was excited to be in a place where I wasn't having to worry about a car flying around the corner of an apartment complex while Blanche rode her bike from sidewalk to sidewalk.

During our trip there were a couple of beautiful evenings after busy days, where we got to play outside at my dad and stepmom's house. The hardest element of the trip was the feeling of having to try and see everyone in a short amount of time, which left me often feeling a tad rushed and exhausted. But these two evenings outside on my old driveway were refreshing. Blanche and Rosemary were able to be outside and play and be part of a childhood I once knew myself.

Looking back at these photographs, I have realized that although my own adult life looks different than my country childhood, I still long for the same things. I desire simplicity and quality time with those I love. It almost hit me all at once as to why I take the girls to the park all afternoon, or why I love hikes in the woods with just my family. I love the city and all of the perks. But I also love escaping that and enjoying the quiet air and connecting in a different way with my family and friends. In Gower Missouri I think the quiet just comes easier, if you know how to look for it. The simple is already there. I always wanted to escape the small country town as a teenager, but would ironically walk the cornfields to do so. There will always be a part of me that remembers riding my bike alone all over my neighborhood, knowing which dead end street had the biggest and fastest hill. I didn't like everyone in town knowing my name, but I escaped and rejuvenated often in the silence of simplistically around me.

This is why I love to travel. Because almost every time I do, I find out something new about myself. I realize my own creative ideas that call for giving my children a childhood "in touch with nature, simplistic, and creative" are many of my own memories of what it was like to grow up in Missouri. I am building a nest of memories and safeties for my own children, based on my love for them and what I know best. I just never knew how close those things fell to life playing out on the driveway in Gower.

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