At first I thought it was the sound of one of “my” hummers knocking on the bedroom window. All summer I’d watched the hummingbirds sprint around our feeder hanging just outside the window, their long thin pointy tongues drawing sweet water out of the teeny tiny hole meant to mimic the center of a flower.
But it’s now December, the hummers have sensibly flown to warmer climes, and I’m here staring out at the window, listening to the knock on glass. But nothing is across from me on the other side of the window but falling snow. Sighing, I cross the room to my antique dresser, the one that belonged to my great-grandmother, who died years before I was born. I stand before the large oval mirror joined at the top of the dresser and framed with mahogany. Yes, there she is. Great-Grandmamma, tapping her fingernail on the other side of the speckled mirror, waiting impatiently.
Grandmama, or just “Grand,” which is what she likes me to call her, first introduced herself to me when I was 12 and my parents replaced my child’s furniture with Great-Grandmama’s bedroom set, which had been in storage for decades. Somehow mom knew that I was connected to her grandmother in ways no one else in the family understood. I didn’t either until the day I’d raced home from a field hockey match, all sweaty and teary-eyed because my team had lost, and I heard a thin high-pitched voice exclaim, “Get over it, save your tears for things that matter.”
Yes, the mirror.
Her introductions were brief, the explanation for her visit briefer. “I’m your Great-Grandmama and spiritual guide. Don’t thank me now, but we’re soul-connected, and I’m here for you whenever you need me.”
She was right about that, yet wrong in some ways. She arrived lots of times but she rarely gave me what I needed.
“Stop thinking so much,” she demanded. “The answers will come at their own time.” Her eyes, as sharp as pencil points, glared into mine.
“But I don’t know…” I began
“Of course you don’t,” Grand interrupted. “You’re not supposed to see into the future.” She paused as if wondering whether to continue with a secret. “But, you’re one of the lucky ones. You have me…”
I tilted my head closer to the mirror. “So can you tell me what I should do?”
And then with a thin smile, she disappeared, and only my own flushed confused face, faced me.