Over the Bridge and Through the Woods

The Brocade below was written by John and used the words Happiness and Peace in connection with the photo below. You can write a Brocade too! Just open the Writing menu in the navbar above, and click Brocade: A Writer’s Exercise!

You ask why I had to smile.

So I’ll tell you.

The funeral had been over a good six months, and at no time had any of us grand-kids come back to the property for a good look-around. But that day the fresh snow had lifted my spirits, and I just followed my instincts to take the long drive out along the shore to her old, crumpled house. It slumbered contentedly in the winter air, shawled with ice. I remembered then the shoes that had been left on the pump out back. They were still there, exactly as she had left them, exactly as I had left them six months ago, dangling from their laces and filthy from the vegetable garden. Back then, I had felt a wave of nauseated anguish at the sight of those shoes. It seemed as though old Nan had just intended to give them a good scrub, and then gone inside to find a bristle brush when it happened.

But six months later, I saw them with new eyes. They were not a sign of a life abruptly ended. They were not a symptom of inadvertence or dementia. No, Nan had left them there on purpose.

She had left them for me.

Not for Janet, not for Linda. For me.

I lifted them from the cold steel. As they swung, I could smell their earthiness lingering in the cold air. I looked up and stared past the chain-link fence to the spot where the trees began, and the long trail inland meandered contentedly for twenty miles or more. There was not a track in sight, but I felt–I knew–that someone was walking there. I was walking there. It was me. And suddenly, just as I had wanted her to have been alright with a leaving of the world, that is exactly how it was. Blind with grief, I just had missed it. She was a subtle old gal, telling me what to do.

And that was why I smiled.

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