When I prayed for a husband, I prayed. I prayed, and I prayed, and I prayed. Gracie and I would cry together wondering how we were twenty -something years old with no potentials in the forecast. She lived in a cedar bungalow in the backyard of a well groomed house. The magnolia I would pass under, each visit would continue to greet me, as it changed with the season. The grass, without fail, faithfully would dampen my feet, as if to say, “You can’t control us, we will dampen your feet one way or another, whether it be dew or rain”.

Gracie’s place was like a fort; a fort amidst the Fort. It was a meeting place. It was a safe place, a place in which we could lay our burdens down. It was a framed structure of antique eloquence; a stain glass mirage of spoken wishes with fairy tale kisses. The ambiance was home. The music was fine elements of mood and classical savory. Fondu, song writing, and Elderflower Presse, these times were fond and life forming.

With the glow from candlelight and with the softness of wine induced splendor, jealousies would at times rise up like the incense burning on the stove. Was one favored? Was one more beautiful? Perhaps one desired more attention, while the other demanded it. Said to be the center of attention, I didn’t ask for it. I longed to be loved and appreciated. Deep down, I know I was, but misunderstood was a party favor I was often given. Outside of this life of familiarity and simple commonness, was another life of spirituality. My life friends these were, but on the other side of the Valley’s hills was the birthplace of my spiritual family. The family that would shape me, challenge me, and display for me; over and over again, the grace of God.

[Image credit: Ginette Callaway]