Esther

geraniums on a chairEsther was enjoying the early morning air on her front porch as she indulged herself with her second cup of coffee.  This was a rare occurrence for Esther, to just sit for the enjoyment of it, but Art had gone to town right after breakfast and she just decided to go out and breathe in deeply the fresh spring air!

Esther was blessed with a long and happy marriage to Art and never a day went by that she didn’t look to the heavens and offer up words of gratitude for this good fortune that had become her life. She was deep in thought as she rocked slowly back and forth in her old rocker. She watched the occasional car driving by and she always tried to imagine where they might be going.  The front porch on her house faced the road and it was here where she would sit and watch friends and neighbors drive by in their cars. Sometimes she would see kids pass by on their bicycles racing each other down the long hill.

Her house was built in a little hill top community and the road that passed her house was a narrow country road that people traveled to go to various destination points.  Art and Esther’s home was small and simply built, but the front porch had enough room for two people to sit on either side of the porch door. The porch had two square shaped pillars on either side of the front of the porch, supporting a pitched roof.  The ceiling was high and was painted a shiny soft gray as was the wood plank floor. She and Art would often sit in comfortable silence feeling united in their comfortable love for one another.

Their porch had a half wall extending from the house to meet the pillars in the front. This was nice because it still gave them a view as it protected them from those cold breezes that would often come around in the north country. Esther loved flowers so she planted two long rectangular containers with red trailing geraniums and placed one on each side wall, to “decorate the view”, she said.

Their house was painted white and its roof was shingled in a shade of moss green.  Their window frames were white with an inner frame painted a deep red which looked cheerful against the white exterior. In addition to the bright red geranium flowers on top of each of the half porch rails, on either side of the porch grew a white blooming bridal wreath bush. It was picture postcard perfect.

Esther thought about their very talented youngest son who had a flair for gardening and an eye for detail. It was he who planned and carved out flower beds that were brimming with the deep orange colors of tiger lilies, the rich purples of irises, the bright yellows of daffodils, the light pinks of peonies and the deep reds of the tall Hollyhocks showing their crimson beauty against the backdrop of the white siding. There was a huge lavender flowered lilac bush growing on one side of the house and at its base were pansies populating the ground near the apple trees.

All that color adorning the white of the house and the green of the lush yard created a lovely scene. A friend commented once as they wandered through Artie and Esther’s property that to walk their property was like walking through the pages of a story book.  Esther and Art both took great pride in all that their son had created for them to enjoy! Little wonder that he was their pride and joy! 

Esther was feeling out of sorts this morning.  She was pondering her age and was reflecting on the speed with which the years of her life had passed by.  Her life had been a satisfying one, as lives go.  She married Art when she was very young and they had raised three children, all who were now long gone into the world with lives of their own.  She and Art had accomplished all they had set out to do.  They were not rich, nor had they ever expected they would be, but they were “comfortable”  as long as they continued to live as they always had.  No forays to Europe for her and Art, but she really didn’t care about that sort of thing anyway.

She had lived her entire life in this small town.  She was born and raised here, met and married Art, gave birth to her children and now here she was, rocking away in an old chair knowing she was considered an elderly woman.  She didn’t FEEL like an elderly woman!  Esther’s spirit was actually ageless.  Her spirit was any age on any given day.  Her memory served as a time capsule where in a fraction of a second, she would travel back and become the girl she was at aged 6 or 9 or 19 or 30!  It was amazing how the senses created this ability for time travel.  The mind has an uncanny ability to take in and store information about every single second of your life where you can go in and look for a particular memory and relive it all over again.

This morning, she was also thinking about her two granddaughters and the last time they came to spend the night. They loved wearing her voluminous, high necked, flannel nightgowns so she always had a couple set out for them to wear at bedtime.

As they were getting ready for bed, Elizabeth, the older girl (who was 11) turned to her and asked “What does it feel like to be old, Grandma?”

Kate (who was 8) said with big, blinking eyes, “Yeah, Grandma…..you musta had a lot of birthdays!”

Esther looked over at them and gave them a big smile.  She said, “Well, I suppose if you think of your own age and then my age by comparison, my life must seem like it is a LONG way down the road. But, to me, as I look back, time went by like this” and she snapped her fingers.

Esther was smiling as she revisited that conversation in her mind this morning and contemplated the fact that life does, indeed, fly by! Isn’t it just too bad that we don’t realize the brevity of our life before it is almost over?  She wondered to herself why it was in God’s design to create eternal spirits inside of perishable bodies with an end date written in a heavenly book.  Old?  What is old anyway?  Old just doesn’t describe the spirit that lives inside the body. One could look at one person who is the pinnacle of youth and beauty not knowing that inside resides an old soul.  Or, one could look at another old, bent, wrinkled person not realizing that inside was a very young soul.

Who invented the concept of time anyway?  They say there are no clocks in heaven.  It has been said that time does not exist there.  That thought sounded pretty good to Esther.  The idea of living large in heaven with no end date was wonderful.  How lovely to see Mom and Grandma again….along with many other family and friends.

Well, Esther’s coffee cup was now empty.  The sun was higher in the sky than it had been when when she first came out to rest a bit.  She had laundry to sort, beds to make, and a whole list of chores waiting for her.  Art was due back soon, so she better get busy or he would comment yet again on her “day dreaming ways”.  She got up off the rocker and pulled open the screen door to enter the house.  With a snap it closed and Esther was on to her day.

JJB/2014

 

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