Friday, December 26, 2014

oh, Calico.

Written on Christmas Eve


Lizzie and I woke up early today and went to Calico Basin.


When my Dad was a healthy and an active part of our lives, we would hike the trails of Calico Basin nearly every weekend. My dad would pack a lunch and we would always rise early, always the youngest on the trails. I remember always pushing myself harder and playing it off like it was nothing. Trying to talk through quickening breaths, Lizzie and I would watch our Dad glide up the mountain sides so gracefully, effortlessly. Until he was just a small dot. Unrecognizable, out of reach.

It’s been nearly ten years since we’ve hiked with our dad. Lizzie called me the day before we left to go home for Christmas asking if I’d be up for the trail again. I was certain that a decade would be enough time for memories to fade, that there would be no way memories would be left along those mountains. I was sure that time, weather, the simple breath of change would alter what we had left up there. The moments we shared together.

Going to Calico Basin was like going home.

I knew the scents, I knew the air. I remember dancing along the open land when we were younger, racing to the car. I remember being so overwhelmed with the beauty. I remember my dad, and thinking that we would do this till he was old and gray. That this trail would be our forever place.

Lizzie and I brought doughnuts, something our dad would reward us with after a long hike.

He would typically get us hot chocolate too, but now we are older. Now we drink coffee and I think of how he wouldn’t know that. If we take sugar or cream. If we wait for it to cool, or drink it while its hot.

Lizzie and I walked that trail and would just stop at random points. Like we were paying respect to these part of our lives.

We looked up at the mountain side together, “Remember when Dad would hike so high, and we would watch from down here?”

At 20, I stare up and feel 10 again. Remembering my dad, a big cheesy grin as went higher and higher, further and further away. I don’t know what he does now, or if he visits the trail by himself. I don’t know if he remembers like I do.

But this season of life is like those mountains, he went further and further, until he was a blur. Completely unrecognizable.

My heart is so heavy as I write this, it what is now just my mom’s bed.

But I am just thinking of how blessed I am.

Christmas for us used to mean endless presents, indispensable income for whatever us four kids asked for.

And while it was always fun to tear through the wrapping and share what we found, there were major cracks in our family’s foundation.

There was little honesty, and lots of band-aids over wounds that never healed quite right. We spent years thinking if you wrapped lies up neatly enough, no one would recognize them.

I am so grateful. To be in a home and not just a house. To be with my mom, sister, and brother, and be able to share what is on our mind. To be completely true and authentic to who we all are. To know there is nothing but an abundance of love. It’s my favorite gift of all.

Calico Basin will  be a spot I treasure, always. Lizzie and I drove from the trail to our mom’s house and talked about how it will be a new tradition. But I couldn’t possibly appreciate the new without recognizing that the old traditions are still special. Still alive.

I am so grateful for everything this life has given me. For every person, for every place, for every memory.

Lizzie and I made it home safely today and laughed and hugged and danced. Our kitchen counters still have sprinkles of flour, there are scraps of wrapping paper, and dishes need washing. Nothing is perfect and yet everything is.

I am happy to be here. I am happy to be home.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is excited for the new adventures and opportunities the New Year will bring. Wishing everyone a blessed day. xoxo

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