I’m sitting in my sister and brother-in-law’s vacation home, which was graciously loaned to me due to my lack of funds for a more extravagant holiday. This suits me just fine, as I’ve always loved this place. It’s calm, relaxing, and remote. And my sister has amazing taste. She really should have been an interior designer. Everything in this house belongs here, and makes it a home. If it had internet access and reliable cell phone coverage I’d probably never leave.
I wander around, looking at photographs of people my sister loves who I barely know, birthdates of people I’ve never even heard of on calendars, and souvenirs of trips she’s taken that I know nothing about, and I realize that although we both spring from the same foundations, so to speak, the structures that we have built of our lives are so different as to be barely recognizable to each other.
And yet we still have the same body language, the same reference points, and for the most part we seem to get each other. And no matter what, we’ll be there for each other. No doubt about it. And that’s more precious than gold.
The fascinating thing about siblings is that you wade in the same gene pool, but what you do with those genes yields vastly different results. That becomes more and more evident as your paths diverge over time.
I look at this house and wonder if this type of abundance could have been mine if only I had made different choices and fewer stupid mistakes in life. I try really hard not to look at my sister as a reflection of what might have been, though, because aside from some aches and pains that I don’t envy at all, her life seems vastly superior to my own, and I don’t want to turn into a bitter old shrew.
There are things I wouldn’t trade for the world, though. My travels, my dogs, this blog, my art, and the people I love. All of those are priceless. So I’ll do my best to relax in this beautiful house, appreciate the fact that I have a sister who is generous enough to share it with me, revel in this moment, and do my best to focus on my own path.
Not the cabin in question for privacy’s sake, but a similar ambiance.