It’s six AM and the hens just paraded out of their coop; it’s dark so I can’t see them but I could hear them walking by as I sit on my patio writing. They cluck a little bit, talking to each other and to the world, getting on with their busy day full of walking around finding things to eat. Yes, those girls can put away some food. They only take a few breaks from eating during the day to lay in the sun or take a dust bath. It’s hard work being an egg-layer and they aren’t even old enough to lay eggs for another couple of months or so.

This morning’s writing had me still in Indiantown, getting to know my new step-siblings and dealing with the unsettling sight of my father being affectionate with someone who wasn’t my mother. To the sixteen-year-old me, it didn’t matter that my parents had “fallen out of love” or whatever someone wanted to call it. It didn’t matter how streetwise I was, my mother and father were just supposed to be together and my father wasn’t supposed to be kissing someone else, at least not in front of me.

I did quite a bit of feeling sorry for myself in those first days in Indiantown, feeling shoe-horned into an already established family where things were going great for them, having to share a room with someone I didn’t know and I didn’t trust (I wouldn’t have trusted anyone), and feeling like a clumsy, awkward, eccentric outsider in this cowboy town. I didn’t think about how it must have felt for everyone there to have me invading their home life until many, many years later. An adult perspective is a wonderful gift; it helps me to see people with more compassion and understanding without denying the fact that I was truly a victim of selfish agendas.

 

 

Written by Tina Gasperson

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