Michael is a very intimate and sweet portrayal by photographer Sara Mayko of her little brother. With the images, we publish the project’s statement, in which Sara recalls the excitement she felt the day when she first met Michael.
He came to me when I was 9 years old.
I can still feel the warm summer breeze, grazing my skin as we basked in the July sun for hours. The trees whispering to us with their green leaves, awaiting his arrival. Walking barefoot through the grass, stepping over bees as they’ve buzzed back and forth, patterned to the way my footprints flattened the blades.
I remember gathering buttercups for him, shielding my eyes from the late afternoon sun as I frequently peered into the window at our grandmother’s consoling face. Every time I heard a faint motor echoing to me from the distance, I’d race back down our hill and hope it was finally him.
As a 9 year old, I’ve waited for that moment since I was 6. My father and I actually had something in common for once: anticipation and excitement. Only he had the privilege of experiencing it first. I, had to be patient.
I remember my Grandmother hobbled down the stairs of our raised ranch, calling across the wild lawn: “Any minute now, darling; any minute now.” As she finally reached me at the bottom, grabbing my sweaty palms to hold my hands. She caressed my sun-kissed skin, hummed, ‘I love you,’ and sat next to me, in the grass, patiently waiting herself.
As the summer sweat trickled down my neck, I remember running into our house, into the room next to mine, the empty one where I believed the silent sprites were residing and observing. These beryl walls now held a cradle with a hanging mobile in the shape of a hot air balloon slowly twirling. I laid on my back, next to the crib. My fingers brushed the fuzzy weaves from the indigo carpet beneath me as I watched the blue crepe curtains billow over my kneecaps from the draft of the opened windows.
When I ponder memories of my childhood, this afternoon is the only vivid one I can recall.