Yeah, though sleep death doth linger in my lungs, I once more find my pathway diverging. Tomorrow holds what it may, so I only know what today has brought thus far.
All around me was silence.
Outside the window, spring had barely begun. The trees were just beginning to blossom forth the tender cusps of leaf. There was the occasional creak of the beautiful wood floor that ran the length of the sanctuary.
The church bell chimed breaking the stillness in the air.
Just a few weeks ago, the Reverend Billy Graham’s body had lain in state just feet away from where I sat in the Chatlos Memorial Chapel. In its place now was a long, low table with an exquisite floral arrangement in the center. It was my time to commune with God. The flower in the middle of that grand table caused me to pause.
My mind drifted back to the little country farmhouse on the edge of New Harmony. My grandma Tron’s dimly lit kitchen was quiet. The fading evening light whispered in through the open window. Outside, the kitchen garden spewed forth all manner of color and aroma. Its bouquet of love poured through the threadbare curtains as they danced in the gentle breeze. There was an uneasy silence in the room, save for the only drop of color to be seen; the single white flower placed with care in the cup in the center of the worn table. Outside, the voices of the family coming in from the main staple garden drifted ahead of their beings. Through Ms. Wolf’s gate, then across the pasture, they would trounce, the little ones dancing ahead, chasing butterflies as they ran. Behind them, the elders would come, either carrying buckets of ripe vegetables or pulling wagon loads of produce ready to be canned. Their return was a time of rejoicing and thankfulness. Before long, the empty room would burst forth with laughter, hands of labor, and conversations of so many thoughts and trials.
The light over the ancient table would come on at the flip of the wall switch, and the room would explode with a golden hue. The sagging would floor, precariously covered with well-worn linoleum, would creak under the weight of those entering; none would notice so known was its sound.
As the work was done, the harvest was stored, the bodies would slowly leave. Once the baths were taken and little ones put to rest, the few older parents remaining would gather around the old kitchen table and slowly say goodnight.
In the end, grandma, the last of our family’s eldest, would pause and open the Bible. Grandpa had gone on to glory many years before. Now it was just her each evening. There under the dim kitchen light, she would read the scriptures that so vividly etched out her life. Looking up, her tired eyes would rest upon that single budding lily. Even now, I can see her smile.
Outside the window, the whippoorwill call would signal the end of another day. From inside the kitchen, the sweet sounds of grandma gently whistling, “Peace in the Valley,” could be heard, joining the nocturnal call of the bird of night.
Nothing could be more serene.
Once more, I was awakened from my vision by the church chimes reminding me it was time to leave.
My commune with God had come to an end for the moment.
In my heart, there is a feeling that I will return.
Thanks be to God.