A Piece of the Peace

26 May

I spent the morning at her house.  She wanted me to organize an armoire for her.  It was brilliant on her part.  She picked me up at my house on the way home from grocery shopping and we ate grapes as she drove us to the North Valley.  She asked if my summer was going the way that I had hoped it would.  I told her no, but that I wasn’t sure what I wanted or hoped for anymore.  She told me that it didn’t matter if I didn’t know, that things had a way of falling into place.  She asked how I ended up here, if I liked it, why I stayed.

She told me about her first love.  She was living in California.  They used to swim in the ocean together every day.  There was a big rock that was underwater but that protruded when the tide was out.  One day he insisted that they swim out to the big rock, so they did.  She was so scared, climbing the slippery, steep, sharp rock that she wasn’t paying him any attention.  Once she got to the top, however, she realized that he had been right behind her the whole time, spotting her, watching after her.  Atop the rock is where he first told her that he loved her.

She talked about her daughter, and her grandchildren, her husband and her house.  She barely mentioned her work.  I met her chickens- all six of them.

It was sneaky.  As I cleaned out the armoire I found family photos- relics from her past.  I found souvenirs from beaches in Mexico, driftwood from California, folk art from Georgia.  I saw the shoes her daughter wore as a child.  I found half finished art projects that her granddaughter had started and abandoned.  I found evidence of a full and wonderful life.  I saw a glimpse into her happiness, and she sat beaming at me, proudly watching as my archaeologist’s mind dissected her past.

I saw in her more than a woman, a wife, a friend, a mother and grandmother.  I saw a person who has life figured out, and she laid it out simply for me, in easy terms: be happy.  Her life is full of happiness.  Her mind is younger and fresher than any other I have ever met.

She made me want a piece of the peace.

One Response to “A Piece of the Peace”

  1. mccabe May 27, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    you are a writer through and through.
    this is beautiful!


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