Over the years I noticed that certain things stirred “memories” of Gran and her wisdom more than others. Gran was not a character that could be summoned at will, try as I might, but I slowly began to understand some of the more tempting ways to invite her presence.
Like long, slow rainy afternoons, the smell of chili in the air and just a taste of it in the belly… rhythmic rat-a-tats on rooftops… fog playing can’t-catch-me among the branches…
And there she’d be, knocking at the door like the world’s greatest best friend. How are you, and how could it have been so long? Come in, come in! I’ll put some water on, and I’m sure I still have some of your favorite tea.
Yes, I remember.
Catching up – oh, the stories, and oh, the adventures! Too many words for just one time. Smiles from ear to ear, tears when the moment called, and those true heart hugs. You know the kind – real hugs, with both arms, neither in a hurry to let go, and none of that politely putting on of appearances, here, let me keep my arm or a wall or a million miles between us. No. Gran always was a good hugger.
And so the hours and raindrops would pass, tea bag after tea bag.
I’m not keeping you, am I? Oh, please do – there is nothing I’d rather do than spend this
time with you. Nothing that can’t be rescheduled, nothing that can’t be pushed off. A visit from Gran was like Love Itself had just walked in the door – and when that happens, you learn to stand at attention and pay close heed, to savor each priceless moment for as long as it lasts.
And when the end of the visit drew near – you could always feel that moment approaching – oh, wait! Did we talk about this yet? Did I show you my other treasure? Aren’t you hungry? Thirsty? Anything? Just like a visit to Mom’s kitchen table – at least one person there is going to draw it out as long as possible.
Oh, those precious memories.
And then the visit is over, each gone on their way, with tears of love and promises of “not so long ‘til next time.” Tea bags grown cold. No lemon cake left. But the seat cushion is still warm, pushed back from the table – she could have stood up and walked away only a moment ago – perhaps just to the next room. Maybe to stir that chili. Not far away. Not really.
Just a thin little veil, as the thunder rolls and the lightning crashes. Just a thin little veil. One easily pierced on lazy Sunday afternoons. Easily pierced by glancing in a mirror and seeing her reflection, if only for a moment, gazing back at you. “Together, sitting by the river, we will shine – because we love each other.”
For now, to treasure that chair, that tea bag, that precious afternoon. Come back soon,
Gran. Don’t forget the way. I’ll pick up some more of that tea, and keep your favorite cushion close.
So much love, sweet one. Just so much love. Can you feel it? The house may be empty, but the love never goes away.
And so it is, my friends. Whatever house you’re contemplating – be it one of brick and mortar, a house of love or worship, or the nebulous walls of one’s creative consciousness – the house may be empty, but the love never goes away.
So much love means you, too, ya know. And don’t you forget it.
From just north of that mighty Big Muddy,
(C) 2017 Mary Batson, FrontPorchRambles.com
All rights reserved, especially the one to lazy Sundays.
On the 7th day, we can all rest.