Casey | West Virginia

we drove to her family's farm, out past people and the noises that follow them. the car ride filled with folk feelings, lyrics strung about in my head like ornaments on a tree “oh i am in love and i am lost, but i’d rather be broken than empty, oh i’d rather be shattered than hollow” - we sang that one loudly and on repeat.

it’s a funny thing to feel in front of another, to both give permission to be seen and to be granted permission to exist without restraints. a funny thing, it is. it is. and we talked about the lives that tried to break us and we talked about the world that told us how to be. by the time we got to the mountains, i had decided. 

i decided, we’d both survived. different stories but the same result. we’d escaped by the skin of our teeth from whatever it was, the details don't matter now.

and that was the beauty of the mountains. whatever had happened before, it didn’t matter here. it couldn't hold onto you in the crisp morning air as the birds sang their greeting and the earth awoke to us. in the most cliche existential way possible, there was only room for now. i think i finally get why people become hermits and say things like "theres only room for now" and mean it with their whole hearts.

breathe in, breathe out.

here in this place, i was struck by the beauty of my friend unfolding. i watched as she came alive in new ways, always walking with her hands outstretched low by her side so as to touch every single blade of grass as she went. she mentioned the beauty of a dog without a leash and i smiled, thinking the mountains offered to us ourselves without leashes, untethered to the "shoulds" and "should nots" i've grown so weary of.

she touched the earth and it touched her right back, breathing life into the thirsty corners of herself.  i felt lost in the mountains, unsure of who to be when the world wasn't answering for me. even still,  i watched her be found. and the contrast wasn't lonely. it was beautiful - two sisters walking a worn path, in new and old places, together nonetheless. 

Shannon SmithComment