A Sister and a Brother, St George, Utah

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Not many ways to express these past couple days. Actually I cannot even find the proper word or words for them but I will keep seeking. I can only say as plainly as possible, yesterday was the first time meeting one of my two Sisters. Of course we did not bump into each other while crossing the streets in St George… The time spend amounted to a few strange circumstances, all "good". It is all due to the kindness of now a Friend "Matt". Karma has its own way to move around mysteriously in one’s Life. Sarine, 36, lives in Los Angeles, a dedicated Teacher and a superb Photographer. We have been e mailing for a while trying to surmount past Family dark clouds passing by throughout the years, we are from the same Father, different mothers and I don’t care for the word half-sister or step-sister for that matter… she is one of my two Sisters.

snow canyon b

Yesterday being the "day", we both, Spirit and I, left on for Snow Canyon very early. Only a few miles south of here, hidden a bit behind Highway 18 before St George, I always wanted to be there for a sunrise. As we are headed south this coming Thursday, I thought it would be a great way to start the day with a bit of reminiscing amongst the white and red sandstone and dig deep in my own memories of childhood, as I knew Sarine and I had so much in common, even if having stepped on the same soil 26 years apart.

snow canyon c  

Growing up, and even more lately these past years I always wished for a Sister or a Brother. I always fantasized phone calls to such a close member and exchange thoughts maybe unable to do so even with close Friends. I have come however since yesterday to the realization that my close Friends are indeed and have been my Family, I have always been open with them, what is there to hide after all as every past minute is already water under the bridge of Life. And it is a "good feel". This "good feel" was even richer these past couple of days, the invisible connection right away was present with Sarine and will be for the times to come.


Riding around Snow Canyon I was thinking on how this all came about. Being a Teacher she had last year taken a Seminar in Los Angeles given by now her Friend and my Friend Matt. The Seminar was repeated a couple weeks ago and as she was showing him our Blog, he expressed that he lived in St George where we are now. Upon his return Matt took it upon himself to purchase a round trip Airline ticket and a Hotel room for 2 nights at the local Marriot. He then contacted me for a cup of coffee and very nonchalantly dropped the surprise on me that I was to meet Sarine in a couple days, he did the same with her and what else can I say but being so thankful and touched by the gesture. Quite a script for a Movie! But reality for us.

Sarine a  
  Sarine i

My Sister "Sarine"

Sarine c


Well, it was beyond excitement. 60 years and just when I think I have gone through all the facets of "feelings", a new one, totally new, presented itself on that day. There was no thinking about the past, there was talk about it, good talk, laughter as she had occupied the same bedroom as I had, lived in the same town and done the same a bit mischievous acts… such as dropping water balloons on the head of passer by’s and even  riding a bicycle in the hallway of our big condo we lived in! How funny including reading the same books such as "Tintin" and as years gone by both having a passion for photography.

Sarine d

Sarine j  

We started the day with the three of us having breakfast, I don’t think I remember the food I ate as the conversations, none in order, only what was suddenly on our mind, were flying while Matt… poor guy (!!!), could only sit there and listen to the chapters of our Lives. There were many places we could have gone but it was not a day to sightsee… talk, and only talk forever. We end up in a small Park under some shade and some power for these… youngsters to catch a bit on their communications while I took care of Spirit and his water as the day was starting to heat up.

Sarine b 

We found ourselves with such similarities throughout our present Lives. Her vibrant personality behind those witty eyes however had me beat but far! Spontaneous character with a Love for Life that we both share trying to each overcome the cards dealt on a daily basis. And I can still hear her voice "what do you think big Brother…", so foreign and yet so welcome and warm from these past years struggling with unforeseen emotions. Wow… big Brother… as now I feel a bit responsible going back to the times when Lance and I had similar thoughts. Sad that they have never met, I know they would have embraced each other with such Loving thoughts as I truly felt they both have come from the same mold.

Sarine & Ara

Matt was then a total gentleman giving us some space as he also needed to present I think a seminar. A quick stop at a Dairy Queen for a humongous ice cream something and where else to go in the heat but back to the Hotel room for more chatting and chatting. A funny thing happened in the Hotel Lobby as she had to renew the key to the room. I had not asked if dogs where allowed and standing looking out through the main glass door I saw the manager walk by, for some reason I did not turn around but heard "I hope this is a service dog as that is the only kind we allow". I must have been thinking quickly as I did not turn around, but continuing to look ahead simply said "yes". He was leashed on his harness and, well, I got away with it as Sarine I think wanted to explode laughing. The manager did say afterwards while walking away "beautiful dog"!

Sarine h

We played with the cameras… I call her "half-face" in this picture and "striped face" in the next one!

Sarine f

Through her laptop it was then looking at all the Family pictures, her uncle and aunts, grand parents, cousins, Friends… the City. Large Family and a City girl, so unlike my present Life but now with the desire to most likely go to Los Angeles next year as we will take off from Texas sometime in April or May and visit. Get into what I call "urban photography" as hers, and experience how the other side of the coin lives… just for a while. I have met the Family, it has been so many years gone by, close to thirty and I had to think that not only they had changed, but for sure I also had grown into the gray and wrinkles that come with age! Amazing.

Sarine l  
Sarine m  

Evening was rolling in and Matt showed up just in time for us to go and have dinner, a nice dinner at an Italian Restaurant for more conversations and picture taking. We met again yesterday right before her flight back, some hard good byes with the both of us as I think Spirit was also excited these past couple days, except when he had to ride the elevator in the Hotel! So my space is now filled with the good memories of these two days and also a bit of sadness that it did not last longer. There is suddenly another person into my Life, a welcome presence as also my other Sister "Thaline" will be I hope soon. I started again thinking about my freedom and there is no doubt that I would like to take the decision to go to Los Angeles now. But a winter in Texas awaits us. I am drawn to the vast land that will shelter our spirits as I feel there is still many steps to surmount. This was a subject Sarine and I spoke about, I seek for quiet times to find myself as indeed it is an easier task to do so compared being in the City amongst busier spaces. It would be I agreed a more challenging aspect.


The "Happy Trio"… Thank you Matt… Thank you Sarine, this one is for you… as for sure I am still on those clouds remaining from those days…


Two years of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In "Your Favorites", organized also in "States", some even labeled "first year" and second year". Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. Merchandise is available also through SmugMug.

Help us keep the site alive. Please contribute…

Be well, always. Ara & Spirit

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9 Responses to “A Sister and a Brother, St George, Utah”

  1. Patti Tappel Says:

    What a touching story you have posted today. You have recieved a reward from God. I too have a brother with the same father and a different mother. As he says we are a whole brother and sister set. There is no such thing as a half person or step person. We are 17 years apart. We never lived in the same house at the same time.
    Maybe now we will see some of her photography too. If she is half as good as you are we will be in for a treat.
    Safe travels

  2. Pat Conner Says:

    Oh wow…………another wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Barney Says:

    Having folks to care about and becared about by them is an exceptionally important part of living. Congratulations.

  4. texascindy Says:

    Amazing how after across the years and space that you have found someone that is such a big part of you. I’m happy for you!

  5. lindan96 Says:

    The pictures were great and your sister is lovely. Thank you for sharing a part of you that was filled with so much emotion.

  6. James NomadRip Says:

    Beautiful story (and sister!), Ara. Thank you for sharing your world with us.

  7. H Says:

    Amazing story. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Belinda Salinas Says:

    Thank you for sharing such heartwarming story. Your sister is a lovely girl and your friend Matt is an angel for making this reunion possible.

  9. Ginny Says:

    Lovely pictures. Your sister is very pretty and her friend is handsome. It looks like you all had a wonderful time. 🙂

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