Sirius (Labor Day, Padre Island)

By whispering waves with muted breaths we point out the night sky constellations to each other. Rare splendors for big-city folk. Under the comforting embrace of the firmament I realize we formed our own little constellation of black heads against the gray sand. A cluster of 3: my mom, my dad, and my little sister followed by a lone star: me. Like the Dog Star following Orion. Everyone an integral thread being woven into the same story – inseparable but independent.

Our unconscious formation is poetically fitting. They will be staying close together in Houston this coming year, while in exactly two weeks I will be moving miles and an ocean away. I’ll be working as an English teaching assistant through a program called TAPIF in a small town called Bourgoin-Jallieu, France. For at least the whole school year. To escape? Yes. But also to become my own independent constellation.

But, like Sirius, I know Orion will always be kept close by near my heart. In that little beating organ there will be enough room for my family, for Orion twinkling in the September sky, for the warm Southern smiles, the large chatter, the oppressive humidity, the beautiful long expanses of concrete freeways, and the big skies thrown like blue blankets over Texas. Enough to wrap me in plenty of home when facing my first dreary real winter.

Those of you following the “France” category of my blog, brace yourself. More travel portraits from a single girl traveling are more than likely on their way in October, most likely in a new “France II” category.

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