This is where I spent Thanksgiving. It is a view of my brother’s land. My own, undeveloped land sits to the left of this scene. I stood out on my brother’s back steps before dinner and photographed the landscape – the moon hovering over the mountains, the golden trees reflected in the crystal clear water.
My brother’s house formerly belonged to my grandparents. It was once a schoolhouse. To the right of this scene sits the original outhouse, one of the three feral cats, who make their home outside my brother’s, roamed through the grass as I took this shot. It is not my home, but I grew up here. Spending weekends and summers at the schoolhouse, both before it was my grandparent’s full-time home and after. Looking in the pond where we would swim as children is like looking back into a reflecting pool of the past. Memories reach up to grab me, but they do not pull me in, they wash over me like gentle waves lapping at my feet. I love this view. I love my land next door.
Inside the house held family, outside was barren and lonely except for the cat on the hunt. A few minutes later my youngest brother and my nephews will teem out of the house and down the hill to target practice. Later we will gather around the table and say what we are thankful for – I am thankful for my family, for gathering in this house, for the moon high on the sky, the reflection in the water, the pond in which I swam, my nearby land, my growing nieces and nephews and still, as we go around and each sibling and my parents expresse gratitude for their spouses and their families, I can’t help but feel lonely. There is just me.