Sunday, November 07, 2010
i am there
with tea and raspberries i sit on the floor, cross-legged, and pry the lid off the small plastic tote. suddenly she is there and i am there and we are eating confections at her kitchen table, talking of her younger days on the cusp of the german north sea. i lean into the tote filled with tokens of the second half of her life, the life that i knew and was part of. it is ripe and resplendent with smells of her home. i finger the tea strainer, the apron, the worn wooden spoons, the cocktail records from berlin. i snap the lid down on the tote to preserve the sanctuary of scent. a very small puddle of tears form in my eyes.
one item from the tote remains in my lap. it is a message disguised as a book. it is a picture book of homer, alaska, given as a gift from her best friend's son. 22 years ago, i traveled to parts of alaska and fell under the spell of homer. the pull and the ache to live there, to create a life there for reasons i could not explain haunted me for 10 years after my visit. but what kept me from making the leap was all the time to be spent and all the memories to be had with her, with my oma. i could not, would not miss them. she is, was the only grandmother i knew.
so, here, on the floor with raspberries, i leaf through the book and an imprint of the long-past haunting rises. go, she says. be free. we have pockets and bushels and armloads of memories and now, let us both be free. do not hold back anymore. find your heart's spell and go, no matter how far or near. where ever you are, she says, i am there.