A Pause

21 Apr

I want to take a break from writing about my travels and take some time to reflect.

I want to go back to a hot summer’s day about three years ago. It was family reunion time for the Weaver household. As it often goes with families, we spent much of the time joking and telling stories and reliving the past. The adults consumed lots of wine and I, the youngest and only teenager, looked on with the skepticism only a 16 year old can impart.

Weaver Family reuion circa1960

Family reunion circa 1960

Most of that long weekend was a loud, raucous and mildly stressful blur and the tiny beach side rental cottage was usually filled to bursting, but there was one afternoon when the heat and humidity got to be too much for the majority of the family. The house was silent except for the buzz of flies and hum of fans. Family members sclathed themselves over sofas in a sweaty stupor. While the “grown ups” sat about, my brother Will, my cousin Jack and I decided that it was the perfect afternoon to go adventuring.

As you know, one cannot go adventuring without provisions, so we made greasy fried onion and cheese sandwiches wrapped ’em up in newspaper and plonked ’em into a knapsack along with a couple of cold ones (for the legal drinkers only, of course). With that done we were ready, and so we set forth, prepared to conquer the wilds of Rhode Island. As we walked the three of us joked and teased, completely comfortable together. Despite the fact that I was (and still am) younger by 5 years, and a girl to boot, the boys treated me as an equal, a partner in crime. We were united, facing the world head on together, like the three musketeers. We clambered through dry, thorny brush and over piles of rubble; ignored the “Private: do not trespass” sign nailed to a tree and finally plunged through a wall of honeysuckle out onto a grassy, hedge lined pathway. Sucking on honeysuckle blossoms, we meandered on, waiting to find the magic that one expects to find on adventures.

Nature's candy

Nature’s candy

Just when we were about to give up, we found it: we found our magic. It was a small grassy oasis surrounded by a sea of shrubs and vines and there, spread out before us, was the actual sea, glistening in the afternoon sunshine. We plopped down in the shade and marveled at our luck. As we chewed our sandwiches and sipped our beverages we contemplated life and laughed about our family and told stories from our shared childhood. It was as if space and time slipped away, it was just us, in a beautiful place, sharing each other’s company. We lay there for hours, sometimes chatting and sometimes just enjoying the silence together.

As the sun started to set, we headed back home to our family. I felt as though we were co conspirators in our adventure; it was an experience that was just ours. A moment of perfection that no one could ever take from us. As we strolled through the evening air, I felt closer to Will and Jack and a feeling of pure happiness surrounded me. Every time I relive that afternoon, and I do quite often, I am filled with that same happiness and serenity, despite the bittersweet quality of the memory: almost exactly two years ago, my wonderful cousin, Jack, died and this is one of my last memories of him.

the Three Musketeers

the Three Musketeers

Although I can’t see him or talk to him anymore, Jack lives on. He is in every incredible thing I see: the view from Notre Dam at sunset, the rolling, wintry hills of Scotland and the ragged coast of Ireland. He is in every breath of wind, every ray of sunlight and every drop of rain that falls. It is Jack’s passion and ‘live life to the fullest’ attitude that inspires me everyday. I want to, like him, find adventure and wonderment everywhere I go and to not waste a moment that could be spent experiencing this wonderful world that we live in.

Here’s to Jack, one of the greatest people I will ever have the fortune know.

End with a smile

Can’t help but smile

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4 Responses to “A Pause”

  1. anniespence April 21, 2013 at 1:03 am #

    Sophie, I enjoyed reading this even as tears fell. I loved that you used the Rankin reunion photo and the others. Thank you for capturing such a moment, it is priceless. Ahh the memories he’s left for us. Love, Anne

  2. Susan Harrison April 21, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    Sophie – I have been loving your posts, but this one is really special. Susan

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Pause | In memoriam Jack April 16, 2011 - April 21, 2013

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