Desire abandoned, I was content with my life’s reconciliation. The bubbles off the water fountain rolled on, audibly dancing through the rocks as in the stream bed by my Grandfather’s bungalow. The faint smell of eucalyptus intertwined with the soft scent of butter and corn tortilla. Santa Ana had followed me from the San Gabriels, past the billboards and giant wind fans of the Coachella Valley, beyond the grandeur of the magnificent San Jacinto, now to the foot of the Sangre de Cristo.
No longer feeling angst for my shortcomings, I suffered only the loss of those left behind. I was now, lost, alone and knew it to be true.
I had come through this Tuesday afternoon to find the space between my heart beats, strangely content with my pursuits regardless of outcome. Love and loss abounded in my heart, alternating faster and faster until merging into a silent blurred film of my life.
The diminuendo about me, swiftly approaching complete silence, was then interrupted by the faint strum of a distant guitar playing the melody of my Grandfather.
I opened one eye, looking across the narrow calle towards the music’s source. My spirit friends now vanished into the New Mexican sky, I sited a small cluster of three people, sitting around a guitarist playing atop a brilliant blanket of blue.
I mustered everything I had to cross the hardened clay pathway towards them. When arriving, I was invited to sit, but was too excited noting the exact similarities in their blanket to mine and the finished carvings around them replicating my Grandfather’s unfinished work.
Hands shaking, I fumbled with my coat pocket until producing the letter of introduction to the eldest of the group. After reading, her eyes welled up…. they could have been my father’s eyes. She implored me to wait for her return and ran off to a nearby casita.
Not five minutes later, the woman of half my age and an elder approached handing me a sealed envelope and a single wooden carving.
They again invited me to sit and rest while offering me food and drink. The familiarity of their eyes and melody of the guitar overwhelmed me. I graciously accepted their invitation, with the secret knowledge I was nearing my one hundred and first birthday with no where else to go.