I have been visiting my family for nearly a month now in beautiful, green, and humid southern Ohio. Coming back to the valley with a fresh desert perspective has me awestruck over plant life and the many hues of an Ohio summer. Altogether, this trip has been a blessing wrapped up as a little ball of candy-coated stress which I have been thumbing in my pocket aimlessly. I struggle to write these days because the thoughts come in hyper-speed. I do know, at least, that I’ve made some hard realizations about my relationship to my family here. I’ve seen how I have fantasized, wondered like a hopeless romantic, over healthy relationships to my parents and extended family members. I’ve come to a soft acceptance that the stains will not come out of the sheets in my bed. This does not trouble me, and that feeling of acceptance has been a sigh of relief. I’ve seen my overstepped boundaries, I’ve watched the habitual anger rise out of me one too many times, and I see more clearly the things that I wish to change. I look forward to returning to my desert dwelling, eager to put my theory to practice in my own life.
I still have about two weeks left here. My summer class has three days left and we have a few birthdays to celebrate soon. My daughter is climbing on furniture and learning her sea legs. The military is no longer a part of my waking life and I am slowly re-learning who I was before they took the very best of me. As I unpack these layers I feel my form growing lighter.
The family tree is gnarled and old, but there is a soft, grassy hill here. The apples fall and they roll far, far away.