The Return Of Saturn
(Written Over Labor Day Weekend)
I had the pleasure today of receiving a massage from a friend I went
to high school with and she told me about the return of Saturn.
Basically somewhere in around 27 years Saturn returns for the first
time to the position of your birth. This can mean many things but
especially with connecting with your home, your roots, and beginnings.
This makes somewhat sense for me. I’ve went above and beyond to
disconnect myself from where I grew up. Part of it was drive to become
something bigger than anything I had known but most of it was trauma. I
had horrible parents, a family on both sides stricken with so many
issues and for what ever reason unlike some of the other children of
my family I wasn’t protected from the difficult reality happening
around me. But I was one favorite, I was my Pop Pops favorite. I will
always remember this man, his bear hugs, his role in the family. He
was a leader, a doer, he held this family together. Without a doubt I
was his favorite grandchild. I will never forget the love light in his
eyes he use to have for me, the love that man use to direct to me. He
always said he would put me through college, and part of me wanted to
just go to college to make him proud.
When his young and sudden passing happened 13 years ago everything
changed, particularly for me. Being the child of divorce with a father
that abandoned me for a southern state and not being particularly
close with my grandmother I was all but removed from that side of the
family. In many eyes I was my mothers daughter and had no place in
family functions. No invites came any longer to birthday and
graduation parties, I was out casted, at 13. It always broke my heart that I was never given anything of my grandfather’s after he passed. And I’m not talking about the college funding he always promised, I mean an item to remember him by, a memento of any sort. That was till last year, that is.
Now as an adult have caught up with my Aunt and Uncle who live four
hours away from me in PA. While its hard for us all to really
comprehend those complicated years it has been one of the most
rewarding experiences getting to know them again, and sharing G with
them. Her life is richer with them in it.
I have one photo of me and my grandfather out front of his old house.
In this photo we’re sitting on a bench, a wooden bench my grand father
built. On a visit to PA I was ecstatic to inherit this very bench from
my aunt and uncle, it now sits in my Brooklyn loft. I finally have the moment I’ve always wanted.
As I get older and maybe it’s the return of Saturn, I’m finding myself
attempting to reconnect to my past a bit more. I have no interest in
connecting with the unstable people such as my parents but more of the
nostalgia of people like my passed Pop Pop. As I’ve moved beyond the
trauma of my childhood I’ve gained the confidence to return home and
So this weekend to celebrate my half birthday Mark took the family camping,
more particularly to the camp ground my Pop Pop built with his own two
hands many years ago.
The campground was sold by my family years ago and is all but falling
apart these days. All the people except for one dedicated couple who
once celebrated the summers here have gone and not returned. You can
still see the work of my grandfather and his spirit in the few witty
signs and broken down buildings. He was the soul of this campground.
He was so much to so many people in his time.
I’m convinced I get my entrepreneurial spirit from this man, even
today catching up with the one family who is still here and knew my
grandfather thier one comment was “Joe was always out doing something”.
He was successful in his goals and he was respected for that. Not to
say he was a god among men, his children would correct me on that. But,
I’m convinced that if he were to have lived longer the family would
have stayed more together, not everyone would have left, there would
have been more stability.
This beauty now hangs in G’s room at home…my Pop Pop gave it to me when I was 4 and I bought it back from the owners.
It’s been hard being here at this place a spent a long time of my
childhood, part of it feels great reconnecting but it also hurts to
think and day dream. What if I had had stable mature parents, what if
my Pop Pop was still alive like his aging wife today. What would these
grounds have seen a different life? Would I have left for the
big city if there was a loving family here for me? Would I have
married a high school sweet heart and seen a wedding below the big
house my grandfather built? Would I have had been walked down the
aisle? I’m not complaining and knowing me I would have ended up in the
same job, same crazy NYC life but it’s fun to sometimes think “what if”,
if the story line of my childhood were different.
God knows if I’ll end up back at this campground years to come. At
this rate the state of the space I’m not too sure how long the the
campground will even be here. But, I’m happy I was able to come, bring
my daughter, share some stories of my childhood with her and capture
these images here on these pages for her. If this is the return of Saturn it’s
more than welcomed.