This photo? My cup runneth over.
Each time I look at this photo I smile. And then I pause. And I have a moment. And then I smile again.
I’ve started and stopped writing this post several times in the last two months. I couldn’t keep up with it all. Paralyzed with some strange form of writer’s block, I suppose. And then I realized that my anxiety was coming not from the lack of words, but rather the overabundance of feelings. So many feelings.
So instead of trying to process those feelings in this space, how about I give you a little back story for some perspective?
It was taken this summer when we spent an amazing week camping with my son and his family at Yosemite National Park. They’ve been camping there for years and I was so excited to join them this year. On one of our first days, we went on a hike. The weather was perfect, the trees were gorgeous and the view was absolutely breathtaking. As we wound along the trail, my son’s mother pointed out this fallen tree with the magnificent exposed roots. It’s been there for years, she said.
I remembered seeing it before. One of her beautiful handmade Christmas cards from about 20 years ago featured a picture of my son and his brother standing in front of the roots…
On this day, I watched as my husband, our girls, and their brother “climbed the tree.” They walked behind the roots and carefully climbed onto the wide end of the trunk. With careful footsteps, and my husband guiding our three-year old, they made their way “up” the fallen tree … all the way to the top … and back “down” again.
They climbed off the widest part of the trunk so we could take pictures in front of the roots, as my son had done so many years ago.
As I looked through the lens of my camera, my breath caught sharply.
I thought about this open adoption journey now 26 years strong. I thought about the extraordinary relationship I have with my son. I thought about the genuine friendship and strong bond of motherhood I share with his mom. I thought about the adage about roots and wings and how we all want to give our children both so they will be grounded in who they are and also confident enough to fly on their own.
I thought about roots and family trees and connections and siblings and mothering and where we all come from and what it all means.
I love this picture. The three of them. Together. Oh my goodness.