This evening, my older daughter got out of the car in our driveway and exclaimed, This is my favorite kind of moon! Inside, the little girl who had played a basketball game was ravenous. The girls had picked me up from a school board meeting, and the younger one, eating dinner in front of the wood stove, asked why a woman had said, Well, you two are definitely sisters. What does that mean? the younger girl asked.
What does bind a family together? Much more than the shape of a nose, or the hue of hair. Even more, I think, than a keening affinity for the moon, or a struggle to bend art. Our life is composed of many material things: our house, our garden, endless meals and piles of shoes, but also the things we can never hold in our hands. The way we argue fiercely at times but always apologize, how the younger girl laughed so happily this morning when I sleepily put a cup of coffee in the fridge. Oh mom! The way we desire for each other the kind of happiness where you can lie back and let that happiness hold you.
It was the sibling thing, I suppose. I was fascinated by the intricate tangle of love and duty and resentment that tied them together. The glances they exchanged; the complicated balance of power established over decades….
–– Kate Morton, The Distant Hours