Friday, July 09, 2004
Time Makes Room For Familiar Strangers
I pulled up in the driveway of this gorgeous country home on Green Street. The moment I stepped outside my car, I could smell the freshly mowed grass. I looked in the direction of which I came, thinking about how gorgeous the surrounding landscape was. Every direction was a picture perfect snapshot for any travel magazine.
I made my way around my car, taking careful steps. I was a little nervous about meeting this woman. We'd never met before and yet I'd heard so much about her. She'd never met me before but family has said she'd spoken of me often. I felt strange appearing this way but it was necessary.
A gentle breeze caught my attention just before I knocked on the door. I took a deep breath and smiled. I glanced at the old wooden screen door and knocked as firmly as I could without damaging the wood. I waited but no response. I tried to peek through the window but found no light, allowing me to see if anyone was home. I knocked again and waited some more. Still, no answer.
There was a lone rocking chair on the front porch, swaying back and forth just a little; probably caused by the breeze. I decided to sit inside the chair and continue to wait. Maybe the woman would return home soon and we could still meet.
I sat down and began rocking slowly, back and forth. My mind focused on conversations I'd had with other family about this woman I'd wanted to meet. I was told this woman was a close friend of the family who everyone sort of adopted and embraced into their hearts. Then I began hearing echoes of comments made. Words that floated by like the breeze that filled the country air.
"We called her cousin Calsa." A voice echoed.
"She was so fond of your grandparents. Uncle Virgil took her in like a little sister and she looked up to that man like he could do no wrong."
"She's a sweetheart, always inviting folks to stop by for a visit. She never ask for nothing. She never want folks to fuss over her. She just like to visit."
"Cousin Calsa say she want to meet you 'cause she seen pictures and say you look just like Uncle Virgil. She say over and over how she want to meet you at least one time..."
The screen door swung open and startled me. I stood up to close it shut as the breeze had kicked up a little bit stronger. I knocked one more time just in case. I waited for a few more minutes before stepping off the front porch. With each step as I returned to the car, I glanced back at the little country home. It was so peaceful that the sound of my disappointment could probably be heard as far as the next county. I didn't get to meet Calsa on my first visit to her home but I would meet her another time when it wouldn't be possible to really sit and talk. That moment left me with an image that I will never forget as a teary eye'd woman embraced me and whispered in my ear, "I knew I'd see you before I leave..."
Today Calsa prepares her spirit for the other side and I am so thankful to have met her once. I have no doubt I will find her many more times through memories shared by and because of love... Peace...