Grandmother came to visit last night. I haven't seen much of her since we moved up the mountain last year. Maybe she figures I'm living close enough to the Real now that I don't need her constant reminders. Maybe she just knows I'm under the care of a true priest.
But when Simon and I were sitting out on our porch in the chill dark last Sunday evening, listening to somebody singing a song down in the town, I looked up and there she was. When Grandmother had my attention, she whispered at me. Her voice sounds just like a night wind in pine trees. That doctor didn't tell you much, did he?
Grandmother is like that. She never tells me anything I don't know. Mostly she just asks questions. “Wilder doesn't know much, Grandmother,” I told her. “He wants to poke around my innards a little bit next week and see what he can find out.”
Grandmother didn't move. She didn't bat an eye. But I could hear her speaking to me. How much does he need to know, boy? How about you?
Nothing short of an honest answer will do for Grandmother, so I tried to give her one. “I probably know as much as I need to know already, Grandmother. I'm in the right place. I'm having a good life. I feel right in the world. I have to tell you I'm curious, though. I'd like to have an idea where this is all headed.”
Then, I thought I heard Grandmother laugh, that way she has of laughing, like tiny feet scurrying across dry poplar leaves. Boy, haven't you seen enough already to know where we're all headed? If now is not enough to satisfy you, how many tomorrows do you think it might take?”
I wanted to tell her then that now is more than enough, more than I ever deserved, but her chair was empty. The breeze rocked it a little, as if someone had just gotten up from it and flown away.