I thought of him, as I pulled two of them out of the basket, lined the seam of one up with the hard surface of another, and cracked them open with my bare hands. I thought of my grandfather, and papershell pecans and oranges brought in from the tree in Florida and squeezed in a juicer on the kitchen counter to make the freshest of all possible orange juices, no preservatives or additives or concentrates involved. I thought of my grandfather, who flew my family to Switzerland so that we could see the mountains he so adored; who when I call to say hello can tell me the movements of the birds outside his kitchen window, and if there is a new hummingbird he will know. I thought of my grandfather, and coin collections, and Vidalia onions and woodworking projects and polished stones. I thought of waving down from a bridge above the train tracks as my grandmother returned from Chicago, of finding him in his office at Bethany Seminary, of sledding and building and playing as a child.
And oh, those walnuts were sweet and nutty and delicious with the years.
I am in a hotel in $rural_indiana, where there is a residency who boasts an excellent rural track. I have free Internet and an hour of free long distance and three free drink coupons for the reception down in the lobby from 17:30 to 19:00. Dinner will be around then, though. I had best not spoil my meal.
Driving past Indianapolis, where I decided not to check my mailbox, I felt a flutter of nausea as emotions reared up to take hold of me. But the sermon at the church I went to on Sunday, where I heard my Angel, my husband whose voice was the first thing I ever fell in love with long before I did more than barely deign to notice his presence, sing O Holy Night in a duet with his baby sister the sweet soprano - that sermon was on letting go of worry. And I listened. What happens will happen, and if my mind and my heart are closed to the voice that has always guided me, I will find nothing but obstacles. I will wait with patience and seek resolution and do what I must. Things always work out, one way or another.
The program here is likely to hold my interest with its substance but not its location. I doubt my top choices will change - but I may be wrong, and I am willing to listen. I listened after the six-hour drive to the other end of the state last week, and I was glad in the end that I went. I will not go there, but I will tell my colleagues about the program. It has real merit despite being practically in Kentucky.
But for now, I plan to relax and enjoy my evening, get a little time to just breathe and remember breathing. I'm still here, O Best Beloved. Just quiet.