Day 316 Touchstone

October 21, 2015

(If we live with an open and grateful attitude, every day will bring a gift. This is one of 365 gifts during the year I turned 70.)

Finding balance in touch

Near the end of her life, my maternal grandmother, my Mom-Mom, lay in bed and sang hymns. Only 50 pounds then, she was unaware of those around her and of the passage of time. She was wrapped in her own pain and fading body. When her birthday came around, members of the family gave her yet another nightgown and more flowers but she did not know she had received these presents. 

I thought it futile to buy my grandmother a birthday present but, at the same time, I wanted to reach out to her. I wondered if she could feel things with the tip of her fingers. On my dresser, I had a smooth piece of shell with pale sky-blue and pastel purple running through it. I had worn it even smoother as I frequently rubbed my thumb over and over its natural indentation that seemed to be made for my thumb. Maybe as I touched it, I was unconsciously connecting with a larger part of earth, ocean and sky. I gave this smooth shell I’d found on a beach to my great-aunt and asked her to give it to my grandmother.

The next time I talked with my great-aunt, she said that my grandmother held the shell for hours, running her fingers back and forth over the exact indentation where my fingers had. I don’t know if this gift comforted my grandmother on some level, but I like to think that it did. 

Today I discovered in my house a forgotten heart-shaped stone that I probably picked up on some trip. Its marbled colors please my eyes but, more so, its smoothness soothes my soul. I touch it and remember my grandmother.

My gift today is a smooth heart.

Day 317: Then and Now

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