Friday, December 13, 2013

Spirit and feeling

Long day.  The bus ride out here was become more and more bothersome…more and more of a burden.  Isn’t that strange?  It never used to be.  I never used to think, “Gee, I have an hour and a half ride home ahead of me.”  I just hopped a bus and went home.  It took as long as it took – I never noticed the time before.  But now…It’s like nails on a chalkboard.  Every moment of the ride is annoying.  I can feel the time so keenly now.  It feels like wasted time.  It feels like a journey that is longer than it has to be.
These last few days have been long, painful in fact.  Like the last mile of a marathon.  It isn’t over yet?  How could it not be over yet?  But it isn’t over yet.  Still have to come all the way out here to find a bed.  Miles to go before I sleep…Robert Frost was talking about me.  This is my home but it isn’t.  It looks the same but it doesn’t.  Nothing’s changed and everything is different.
Sheba’s my home now.  I understand it very clearly.  It’s scary and exhilarating.  I think to myself “What if she stops liking me?  Where will I go then if my home doesn’t want me anymore?”  But they aren’t real thoughts.  I told her once how painful it was going home after being in her bed.  At first I thought it was because I didn’t want to leave a warm bed for the cold.  But it was never that.  I was leaving home.  I was leaving my home to go to my parents’ house.  Her arms are my home; my body knew that even before I did.  Getting on a bus to come out here was travelling in the wrong direction.
My old man was in the garage, fiddling with something the way he does.  She had come over for the first time yesterday.  I nodded to him, opened the gate. 
“”Mil..” he said, calling to me, my childhood name.
“Yeah, Pa,” I replied, turning back to him.
“Sheba.  You know I couldn’t remember what she was like…And then when she started talking, I felt this…warm spirit go through me.  Kind spirit.  It was nice…real nice…”
“Yeah, Pa.”
“It’s good.    A real nice feeling, talking to her.”
“I’ll tell her you said that, Pa.”
“Alright.”  I continued on my way inside.  My father and I never talked like that before.  I mean, we could talk about anything.  But that he made a point to stop me…to tell me about how he felt when he spoke to her…it meant something to him.  That’s good, I thought – it made me feel glad that he had seen in a short while what I see in her.
I set my things down inside and was preparing to sit and watch some TV when I heard steps coming down the stairs to the basement.  I was prepared to greet my brother, only to find that it was Mum.  She sat on the arm of the chair, looking at me.  She had come looking for me - usually she’ll call down from upstairs to greet me or take a nap after having come home.  But here she was, sitting in front of me.
“Hey, Ma,” I said.
“Hey, what’s up?” she said, and continued.  “You know, I couldn’t remember what Sheba looked like.  When you said her name I kept thinking about that time, and what she looked like and I couldn’t pull her face.  But the moment I saw her I just got this wave of…this whoosh… and this wave and…such a warm heart.   Right away – good heart.”
I smiled.  They must have been talking about her last night in bed before they went to sleep.  But it meant something…that they both made a point to tell me.  It reassured me.  I never had any doubts that they would like her.  Still, it was nice to know for certain.
“Pa was just telling me much the same thing outside.”
“Really?” She was genuinely surprised. 
“Well, that’s something.”
“It is.”
“Well, I just wanted to tell you.”
“Thanks, Ma.  How was your day?”
“Hmm?  Yeah, it was good.   Okay talk to you later.”  She scurried along.  She really just wanted to tell me.
I sat there a long while with the TV off, thinking about what that had meant.  It was almost as if I had brought them a new family member and they were excited to start loving this new person.  To get to know them and spend time with them and make memories with them. 

I couldn’t blame them.  I felt the same way.