Hand in hand, coffee steaming, Bibles open, heads bowed.
Toast buttered, eyes closed.
Sunlight streaming in through the kitchen window and birds chirp on the blue berry bushes. Cars go by in the street below, and the hall clock ticks in comforting rhythms.
Early mornings with my grandparents. Precious memories. Foundation laying. Prayers filling rooms, as daily as the clock in the front hall chimes. I cannot remember a morning with them that I did not find these two gray heads bowed.
No matter how many houses my childhood traveled through, I always came back to this home. Each summer, each holiday. Same brick walkway, same front door. Same big grandfather clock, ticking, chiming. Same rooms, doors, floors. So many hours spent dropping things down the laundry shoot, playing dress-up in great grandma’s clothes, snuggling in front of Anne of Green Gables, sleeping in these sheets…
And waking. Opening my eyes to the smell of coffee and toast.
Treading down the stairs to find these two. Heads bowed, hands held tight. Bibles open.
As Grandma filled my cereal with frozen blue berries from her bushes, and poured creamy milk over them all so that it would freeze together and make breakfast all deep purple and icy crunchy, I would think up ways to wake myself before her.
I never could rise early enough. Never before them. Never before they were sitting there. Coffee steaming, toast buttered, Bibles open.
It is my grandmother’s voice I hear when verses come to mind. Her soft beautiful voice coaching me in memory. Her gentle reprimands when I need reminding. Love spoken over me.
It is my grandpa’s voice I hear when hymns are sung. Low and deep and near. I fell asleep to his voice many nights, lulled with age old words of adoring and praise and holy fear.
Today, still, though it’s our table now, and there is no more kitchen window. And it is night, not early morning. Their heads bow, their hands reach for each other. Coffee is drunk and it’s my Bible that is near, but still it is their words that I hear. Offered up in thanks and trust. Prayed over me, my husband, my children, a blessing they leave. The scripture they’ve ingrained in their hearts pours from their lips and over our heads, all bowed. The words they speak… rich, deep, wise and humble.
And tomorrow morning, tho I won’t be there to see it, I know where I can find them.
Coffee steaming, toast buttered, Bibles open, heads bowed over hands held tight.