I stand in front of the mirror, water dripping behind my ears, plastering bits of my hair to my neck. I cradle the phone to my ear, laughing and smiling so much I can barely get the words out. “I get it!” I can picture her sitting at her kitchen table, or leaning against her clean counters, her chin in her hand as she shakes her head in amusement and joy.
This isn’t the first time that I have called her with news. She’s gotten frantic phone calls about everything – new jobs, new boys, bad habits, fights, something someone said about me, my inability to hear God’s voice, my impatience. She can trace the pattern of my hurricanes with seasoned accuracy. When I had to tell her goodbye last year, I told her that she could read the weather of my heart.
I trip over my words, scattering water across my mother’s dresser surface as I shake my head in disbelief. “It’s about my relationship with Him! All of this, isn’t it? It’s about learning to trust Him. It’s not being mad that He is in control of something that already belongs to Him!”
We both laugh. I can hear her push her red glasses onto the top of her head, her eyes crinkling in recognition. She knows the hurricanes and the harvests. I perch on the end of my parents’ bed, close my eyes, listening to her remind me to record this somehow, to build an altar of remembrance. It won’t always be like this, she says. I imagine her swirling a spoon in her coffee cup as she says this, then taking a careful sip. Find a way to remember the harvest so that if a drought comes, you remember that you were joyful about this realization.
We are a thousand miles apart and, somehow, it’s just as if we were two feet apart. “You’re the first person I wanted to tell,” I whisper as I feel the conversation coming to its end. “I love you, Julie.”
“I love you too, Hil.” I hear the familiar nickname, hear the promise tucked inside that there is a life full of these conversations, lemonade and sweet tea on our porches. There is a lifetime of building altars of remembrance to His goodness.
I lie in bed after hanging up the phone and as my eyes close, I whisper one more: Thank you for the beautiful ones, who read the weather of our hearts. Might I be one, to her and to others?