A woodpecker hammers away at a dead tree while I’m on the phone with a friend. We stumble through to the heart of what’s bothering both of us only to discover we’ve hit a brick wall. I tell her what she already knows, that there’s nothing we can do about it. That she’s “hit the nail on the head.”
“But it’s a mighty heavy nail.”
And when I hear the heaviness in that truth, I tell her a story that helped me:
A dying woman is visited by a neighbor child. At the sound of the sweet child’s singing, the stroke-stilled woman turns her head to the song. Then she moves her foot (is she tapping to the music?) and every adult in the room is astonished. When the little girl finishes her song, she throws herself on the sickbed to hug her friend.
And the old woman died, but not before she heard the song…