She goes to Grandmommy Wise when she has a problem or is sad. The feelings have been swirling around her all morning, leftovers from an interrupted sleep. Mostly the dreams tend to be about torment and struggling which amazingly can take many forms. Until she found herself in the middle of this somewhat psychotic episode of her life, she didn’t know that struggling had so many faces.
Grandmommy Wise is always home and happy to see her. It has been like this always. She runs up the wooden steps almost knocking over the potted geraniums that sit on the porch. The screen door squeaks and lightly taps shut behind her as she enters the house. Grandmommy is sitting at her dinette table and she looks up slowly from her reading, letting the kindest smile spreads across her face, crinkling the corners of her glistening eyes. She can’t remember seeing a more lovely sight than the essence of her grandmommy who lights up when she sees her. It is what warms her soul from head to toe, giving her the strength to face the journey that lies in front of her.
“Come in baby girl…let me see your beautiful self.” She enters slowly wanting to feel every part of this moment because it is this that lifts her spirit, gives her a place to be and call home. She knows that Grandmommy Wise can center her, never disappointing. She offers a soft, warm hand and she kisses her cheek. Her smell is so pure, that of castile and horehound candy.
Baby girl sits down and almost immediately starts to weep. It is impossible to contain herself around her grandmother mostly because there isn’t any point. Grandmommy is a woman who sees down to your soul and idle chit-chat is sometimes seen as a fairly irritating obstacle to the true point of your visit. “Grandmommy…, I am so lonely…, I don’t know how to be who I am.” The feelings and sobs come pouring out as she recounts the recent story of trying to talk to her family. “I feel like they don’t want to know what has happened to me and the effects that it is had. It is like they want to bury all of this and just keep pretending and making coffee and casseroles and talking over me and anything that will distract them from my reality. I try to be respectful and have done that for years but keeping this secret has made me sick…physically and spiritually sick…I can’t do it anymore…I don’t want to…” Her voice trails off into silence and she looks up at her grandmother. “Am I destined to be alone with no one to understand but you? Why won’t they listen, why don’t they care and why can’t they hear me?
Grandmommy starts to speak but pauses and gets up, moving to the jars of herbs that she keeps in her pantry. It is the most fascinating wall of jars one has ever seen. Roots, berries and leaves of so many colors and textures, harvested with love from her garden, she knows the right selection of tea to make for this occasion. Her words are still hanging in the air, not forgotten, but being contemplated. Grandmommy Wise is calling the green fairies to help as she pours the boiling water over the leaves in the teapot. It is at moments like this that Grandmommy slows down, giving reverence and summoning her trusted friends to add some wisdom to this moment. Baby girl feels the moisture from the steamy pot as Grandmommy sets it down in front of her feeling certain she detects chamomile and lavender. Another time she will ask about the herbs in her tea but for now, another wave of sadness comes over her and the tears won’t stop. “I feel like such a outcast, when I try to be honest with them, they keep trying to change the subject or do something else that distracts us from the topic. I think that is why Niecie always wants her children around because they can keep this crazy chaos going and no one can really listen to one another.”
Grandmommy Wise smiles again and looks lovingly at her granddaughter. She sighs deeply and pats her on the hand. “My goodness, you are a tender hearted child aren’t you. I have always known this but I keep seeing more and more of it everyday”. Grandmommy looks directly in my eyes and says “I want to tell you something that you are finally old enough to hear and give you a perspective that I haven’t shared with you before, something that I think will help you tremendously. You see, there are several of us in this family who are “special and sensitive”. Thats what my grannie called it and it seems you have become one of us. You have the incredible ability to sense what people are feeling and to the degree that they are feeling it. The line between your physical world and the spiritual world is very thin. Being this sensitive to people’s energy is a blessing but also a burden at times. Grannie used to get peoples dander up just from giving them an honest answer to a question they hadn’t even asked yet. Got to be that folks started to avoid her and wouldn’t ask her questions anymore because they were afraid of the answer. Aaaahhh…but those who are courageous enough to ask and look, those are the folks who will be your closest friends on this earth because they cherish you just as you are. What may surprise you it that it won’t necessarily be the adults in your life that you turn to and count on but more often the children, plants and the animals that have the purest energy and the most courage for these types of journeys.”
With the simplest of words combined with the act of love, Grandmommy Wise had restored her peace and given her new insight. Baby girl sits back and feels the tension start to ease out of her. Calm settles in and these new thoughts begin to dance around in her head, trying themselves on for size. She closes her eyes realizing she has a great deal of thinking to do.