Tuesday, 01 November 2022 13:26

It Can Be Everything

Written by  Priscilla K. Garatti
It Can Be Everything Photo By World Wildlife

It is something--it can be everything--to have found a fellow bird with whom you can sit among the rafters while the drinking and boasting and reciting and fighting go on below; a fellow bird whom you look after and find bugs and seeds for, one who will patch your bruises and straighten your ruffled feathers and mourn over your hurts when you accidentally fly into something you can't handle.~Wallace Stegner (From The Spectator Bird)

She hadn't planned on the conversation. My sister told me she went out to walk her dog. Right before she was about to go inside, her neighbor pulled up beside her and rolled down her window. "There I stood in the middle of the cul-de-sac, but it was early in the morning so there was no one else around, no cars that we were holding up." My sister said that she had had little contact with the neighbor. They'd been friendly, talking about their plants and the weather, but nothing deep. However, the neighbor began to pour out something intimate, something intense. The neighbor said right there on the street with the window rolled down, "I don't know how my husband could do this to me. Am I just to forget about seventeen years of marriage? And now he's remarried and I don't have much money. I'm supposed to be retired and now I've had to find a job. I can't forget about him."

My sister said her dog laid down in the street, sensing not to pull on the lead to get into the house for his kibble.

"How did you respond?" I asked. 

"Funniest thing, I didn't panic or feel anxious about the encounter. Didn't feel as if I needed to have any kind of answer. I listened mostly, thinking that people are really hurt. And they live nextdoor. Then I finally said, "Wow, that must be really difficult. And surely you don't have to forget about seventeen years of marriage. That's a long time. And if you want to, just come over soon for a cup of coffee and we can chat." My sister said the woman nodded, smiled, rolled up the window and drove away.

I said, "I think your neighbor felt you were safe, even when you'd only talked about your yard and the weather. She felt God's love. That's why she stopped."

My sister is the kind of person who will straighten your ruffled feathers and mourn over your hurts when you accidentally fly into something you can't handle. That can be everything.  


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What Readers Are Saying

In Missing God Priscilla takes a brave and unflinching look at grief and the myriad ways in which it isolates one person from another. The characters are full-bodied and the writing is mesmerizing. Best of all, there is ample room for hope to break through. This is a must read.

Beth Webb-Hart (author of Grace At Lowtide)

winner"On A Clear Blue Day" won an "Enduring Light" Bronze medal in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

winnerAn excerpt from Missing God won as an Honorable Mention Finalist in Glimmertrain’s short story “Family Matters” contest in April 2010.