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Friday, June 11, 2010

Family Dynamics

Spring and Autumn are sisters who have had shared custody since their parents Summer and
Winter split up so many years ago. It's no wonder that it didn't work out for those two, their temperaments are just too different to make a tranquil and loving home. You can tell Spring, the younger sister, is Mother Summer's favorite.

They go shopping together for new things, and share such a family resemblance that sometimes it's easier to think that they are the sisters, instead of mother and daughter. They listen to the same music, although Summer likes it louder and will turn up the volume the first chance she gets. They like their water warm and their plants young. They can cruise for greenery together, they both like younger and more active sprouts.

Spring has a deep love for her dad though, who seems so austere and cold; He is a time when it would seem that nothing new will ever happen on this block. When it's her turn to go live with mom she will vacillate, and say she left a lot of stuff at his house and she needs to go back and get it.

He's the one who teaches her the deep secrets, and she learns much from him. They work on fantastic new creations and projects in the basement together, and on those weekends when both sisters visit Autumn can become very jealous of the attention their father lavishes on the baby.

All Autumn ever really gets to do is throw a brief fashion show using her mother's over-bloomed and well-used remnants to dazzle the eye and make wistful the heart. Autumn throws herself without reluctance into her father's chilly arms, only to watch her best gifts be swept away.


Summer is a charismatic, pink-cheeked woman in a party dress, drinking too much, staying up too late, flirting with all the possibilities that pass by. By the time the party really gets rolling she's entirely forgotten that she has any daughters at all, it's just HER in her golden tiara, holding court amongst her many admirers. Collecting love letters like lush fruit, she blooms unashamedly, showing even her most secret flowers to any and all who might wish to see. She doesn't come to a dignified conclusion, she just parties until she passes out.

It is always the older sister, Autumn, who will come along and clean up her mother's messes, and tell her "Yes, you were once beautiful." Mom usually raises her head and staggers blearily out one last time or two to slur "Where's the party?" As the eldest sister, she always finds a safe place for mom to lay her head, her petals long gone, her pumpkins fat and her stems withered and brown, to sleep off this year's fleshy excesses.

Summer resents her oldest for resembling Dad's side of the family so much. Autumn already knows all the lessons that her father will teach. She is charitable though, and it's her privilege to pass out the goodies that will sustain the little people while Dad and Spring are sequestered together contriving new things to introduce. Summer spends this time sleeping off her hangover.

Autumn fills me with a restless urge, to go, to see, to get the hell out of this town before it's too late. I love Autumn the best.

Dad's job is to go out and wreak havoc, freeze some stuff, throw some lightning bolts around. It's not a very pretty job, but someone's got to do it. Always a buzz-kill, he insists that everyone slow down and have a long hard look at themselves. Spring and her mother don't appreciate that he provides most of that water they love to play with in their garden.


Spring and Autumn don't hang out much. Like a lot of sisters they argue about who is prettier. Autumn, the older sibling has a more realistic view of life, and finds her little sister frivolous and fickle.




This morning when I took the dogs out I caught Spring, trying on her big sister's breezes, pretending that those were her clouds. The smell in the air was not the innocent fragrance of a young girl though, she had snuck into her older sister's perfume and applied too much. At this time of year, she'll get away with it, but for one tiny moment, that truly Autumn instant stirred me and made me want to pack my bags.


1 comment:

  1. You're such a talented writer. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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