Caroline, Riley, Patrick, and Tanya, people in the Root and Branch Community, share their stories about their grandparents as we reflect on caring for those we love, aging, and the ways God speaks to us through family.
September 9, 2014
3 Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts shall be called the holy mountain.4 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. 5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. 6 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the Lord of hosts?
From Home by Marilynne Robinson
Those children had, almost all of them, bent their heads over whatever work she gave them, even though their bodies were awkward and restless with the onset of adulthood, fate creeping through their veins and glands and follicles like a subtle poison, making them images of their parents and strangers to themselves...
Why do we have to read poetry? … Read it and you’ll know why. If you still don’t know, read it again. And again. … People have always made poetry, she told them. Trust that it will matter to you…
Who gets to say what’s good and what’s bad? I do, she said. For the moment. You don’t have to agree, but listen. Some of them did listen. This seemed to her to be perfectly miraculous. … Could it be that certain of them lifted their faces to her so credulously because what she told them was true, that they were human beings, keepers of lore, makers of it?
Her father taught his children, never doubting, that there was a single path from antiquity to eternity. Learn the psalms and ponder the ways of the early church. Know what must be known. Ancient fathers taught their ancient children, who taught their ancient children, these very things. Puritan Milton with his pagan muses. It is like a voice heard from another room, singing for the pleasure of the song, and then you know it, too, and through you it moves by accident and necessity down generations…
No need to be a minister. To be a teacher was an excellent thing. Those vacant looks might be inwardness. The young might have been restless around any primal fire where any elder was saying, know this. Certainly they would have been restless. Their bodies were consumed with the business of lengthening limbs, sprouting hair, feeding themselves for procreation. Even so, sometimes she felt a silence in the room deeper than ordinary silence.