My Parents’ Voices

Tonight I’ll fall asleep under the familiar comfort of quilts, cedar smoke and my parents’ voices where they sit next to the wood stove downstairs in the living room, the 55+ year timbre of their ritual discussion about local news and events of the day. Their muted dialog about family and feeding calves carries up the metal flue to my childhood bed where I am camped directly above, a canter calling back across the years, primal vocal patterns woven into the earliest chords of my childhood memory.

As the heft of the moment settles upon my chest, I lie wide awake in wonder of it all.

I am grateful they have one another now. Still.

After all these years. After the distance. After the mundane. After glorious victories and defeats. After the push and pull, and near disasters. Here they are.

How many nights have I lain awake, how many miles from this place, trying to make sense, trying to reason, to debate? To right how many wrongs?

I rest in the business of listening now, of praying, of memorizing the cadence of my parents’ voices.