As too often happens between a mother and son, my mom and I were drifting. Between her juggling act of jobs and my schooling, we had gravitated towards living two very different lives. Rarely did we share time together; never mind taking a vacation together. With this nigh unspoken of separation between ourselves, it was almost surreal when my mom came home one night with two boarding tickets to Santa Catalina, an island off of southern
Catalina was no far flung destination, but as our ship drifted towards the fog-bathed island I felt just like the Spaniards of old approaching the dreamlike
My adventure to
Languidly lilting through the air was the smell of eucalyptus and fennel. The bluest of blue water lapped at my feet and the sun caressed my bare shoulders. I turned to my mother many times and she, too, was basking in the joy of virginal nature. What a truly happy sight it was to see her face, so often kneaded by worries, now smoothed by the misty breath of the sea. Days passed by; we hiked and swam and kayaked and shared more laughs than we ever had before. For this, Catalina has my deep thanks a million times over. But even greater thanks are due for the mission this island awoke deep within me.
There was an unforgettable moment for me during a midday hike when I took rest at an old shack in the hills. A curious squirrel scampered up to me. He scurried up my benchseat and began nosing around my backpack, almost playfully, and shockingly negligent of the rules of boundary the other squirrels followed with humans. I’d seen a thousand squirrels in my life but never so intimately, and never so innocently.
During this small interaction with the squirrel, I realized why
After we returned, I saw a change in my mother and in myself. My mom immediately stopped devoting as many endless hours of herself to her previous god of computers and offices. She lives now. And within me
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