My sisters’ visit for the week, a month ago, fills me with longing for their return.

This autumn morning thoughts take me through a winding path along the word-filled avenue of  “sibling.” Defined as “one who is of a kin to another,” according to the OED, I read through the etymology and variations. Boldly stated are references to “sibling rivalry” and to “1974  ‘J. Melville’ Nun’s Castle vii. 153   Siblings and kinsfolk did not have to be friends.” And yes, siblings are morphologically very similar”  …I would add, sometimes.

Yet, there is nothing to indicate that “kin” are or should have emotional ties to each other – certainly not positive ones. Why is this?

Our visit together. The week drifted by rather quietly. Visiting bookstores and reading. Meditating at the Freer Museum, then rummaging through $1 rings of cloisonné in the gift shop. Each of us choosing a color. Each with differing skin tones. Each, different tastes. Mementos. Memories. Bonding. This, followed by a quick meet-up with the nephew. Our future.

The sisters together, 2018, Washington, D.C.

Eating, napping, crossword puzzles and TV mystery series ad nauseum, followed by more eating (much thanks to the husband who cooks!), and walks.

Always walks.




The closeness among my sisters and me is the legacy our parents handed down to their children – to their three girls.

three sisters
The sisters together, 1979, Washington, D.C.

Living within this triangle of sisterhood for a lifetime, it is the bittersweet touchstone to my past and doorway to a joyous present.  My Pamela, ten years the elder, with her love of the moment,- this moment – and her openness at inclusion; my Sandra, the middle one, with her sensitivity to everyone – her generous spirit.

Perhaps it is time to refer to “sibling harmony” or “siblings in accord,” rather than that singular noun with its negative connotation.  Yes?

Melville, Jenny. The Nun’s Castle. Romance Book Club. 1974. Print.

2 thoughts on “Siblings

  1. My niece and 2 of her brothers sing and play guitars–mostly Christian songs they write themselves–they call their trio–Sibling Harmony—They’ve done road trips–mostly singing at churches and youth gatherings. Haven’t done much lately, as she is now in Germany, and 2 of her 4 brothers are in Montana and Indiana. Just thought you’d like the name they chose.


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