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"Unless Ye become like these little ones," Claire
Beaumont was saying, "Ye cannot enter into the Kingdom
of Heaven."
Kitty spent the afternoon roaming slowly through the
tiny farmhouse. She sat in one room and then another. She
felt her grandmother's presence in everything she touched -
the heavy, handmade quilt, the ancient, faded crucifix on
the kitchen wall, the big iron stove, once wood-burning,
now converted to gas.
She fried an egg and made a sandwich. She ate alone at
the big table, silent, wishing for the company of family; she
felt the house yearning for motion, voices.
When twilight came, she locked the door behind her,
descended the wooden wheel chair ramp, and started
slowly through the field toward the hill, toward the little
creek at its base.
What am I doing here? she asked herself. Why aren't I
in the city with my grandmother? Or at home with my
husband? What am I here to find? To do? It's like the
The evening air fell silent as she approached the creek.
No chatter of life poured from the nearby woods. The water
trickled by soundlessly, its current almost stopped.
She felt the silence now inside her, too - a delicate
presence, a soft bud of certainty unfolding within, casting
slow ripples of calm. She sat on the ground beneath the
great willow tree and waited, resolute, motionless.
A shimmer appeared on the hill to her left. A silvery
cloud of nothingness was approaching her. Kitty heaved a
weary sigh.
"Come on out," she said."I see you."
The shimmering cloud circled behind the willow tree.
The little girl from her dreams appeared to her right.