The sun has arrived. June, her arms filled with a bounty of flowers and flush with the scent of summer, waits just beyond the door. The magical promise of fire flies glinting in her eyes, long days and even longer nights languid with music and laughter and smoke from the bonfire.
Oh, my heart stirs.
My grandmother, passing ninety-five some time ago, has come to stay for a spell. Her name is Elva. A proper sort of name for five feet of southern charm. My days are slower now, a mingling of school year's end rush and the shuffle of elderly foot steps. She makes me pause, abandon projects and lists for lazy afternoons of stories and cold limeade on an herb lined porch. The speakers hidden beneath the old oak table filling the air with Nina Simone and Martin Sexton, music to remember by.
Worlds lost, revisited.
I spend my mornings in love with dirt, coaxing tiny leaves from the earth. Pruning and cutting and edging our world; the sun's touch warm on my skin. An igneous heat that permeates my flesh, filtering down beneath the surface of sinew and bone to whisper to my soul...."Awake."
I pause in the hall before the mirror. Her flushed cheeks and tangled hair surprise me. Somehow the unkempt wild version of me seems younger. Bare skin damp with exertion, white shadows beneath spaghetti straps vivid against tan speckled shoulders that trumpet the success of weeded tomatoes and basil thriving. Summer's blush, this is.
Icy tumblers leave wet rings on the blue and green bits of glass, a mosaic reminder of how beautiful broken can be. Her hand trembles as she sips, the act taking her full attention, brow furrowed. Libations safely returned to the table, she tilts her head, white hair tossed softly in the breeze. "Have I told you about the first time I saw Ed? That wild Cates boy...."
The satin webs that frame her eyes, creases etched by a thousand smiles, a thousand tears....joy and anger and sorrow. A life carved into the flesh of a woman, two husbands and three sons buried. How cruel the hand of Fate can be.
But here, in her granddaughter's home, three rowdy great grandsons atumble, rosemary studded beef saturating the air as it slowly roasts inside, the day unhurried and soft. Telling tales to this freckled woman masquerading as a girl...
Lord, thank you for the opportunity to pour out...and to take in.