My grandparents live far away and in the age of Twitter feeds and a million apps, I remain awed and thankful for the miracle of the telephone for it is the way I remain connected to the every-day reality of my grandparents lives, and they mine.
My grandfather, whose voice and body are clutched by the grips of Parkinsons' disease, persists with patient grace. I myself have learned to be patient, to allow the phone to ring nine times, ten times, and then once he answers, to wait as he positions himself and readies his voice for speaking. Not as many words are spoken, less like chatter and more like poetry and oh how it feeds me. My grandmother, each and every time I call, responds the same way, "What a wonnnnnnderful surprise!" as if we haven't spoken in years. I love that. It feels good to be so welcomed, so embraced. The very timbre of their voices are part of the home of my heart.
There is something powerful and necessary that happens as we reach beyond ourselves to the other generations, both to the elder ones, as well to the younger ones.
For it is in our reaching that we are stretched into a deeper humility, a quieter reverence, and an understanding of where it is we fit in the tribal landscape.