In my dream, I’m visiting a dear friend whom I don’t often get to see. Each hour of our time together is precious.
As our reunion is nearing its unwelcome end, we hear a soft knock on the door. Answering, we find Katie, an itty-bitty angel, not even five feet tall. In waking life, I know her as a woman in her late eighties, a mother of twelve, a longtime hospital chaplain, a lover of the arts. Her short-term memory has turned into a sieve, too holey to hold much of anything anymore. But her heart remains a huge earthen bowl, capable of holding the world.
This morning I delivered Jihong to the Sioux Falls airport, an hour south of us, for the first leg of an overseas business trip.
As he’d prepared to leave home, a strange sequence of problems bedeviled our household appliances:
My laptop died.
Our coffeemaker died.
Our hot water heater died.
Our gas fireplace died.
Imagine yourself holding a hammer.
Now, strike your hammer against a big pane of tempered glass.
Watch the glass shatter into thousands of crystalline pieces, dropping all around your feet.
Hear the initial crash of their fall. Hear the gentle tinkling in the silence that follows, as bits of glass sink and settle.
Eden is nine years old. Her family lives across the street from Annette Langlois Grunseth, a dear friend of mine who, in her seventies, is a beautiful ball of energy.
Eden and Annette have turned into a dynamic duo. You see, Eden, a fourth grader, wants to be a writer someday. And Annette just happens to be an award-winning author and poet.