To Char, seeing the most important part of her entire life happy and thriving and doing better than she’d ever done was a miracle of peace. A whole life with so little peace, so few friends and family, such solitude: and here she sat in the kitchen of the monestary, in the window, looking down over the monk’s garden where John was lying face-up on a blanket, literally surrounded by friends and food and drinks and books and trees, grass, gardens.
She’d never spent a day of her life snoozing on her back, face up towards the sky, taking in life without contributing anything. The songs they were listening to down there were embarrassingly earnest: songs Freebird and Blowin’ in the Wind. Just hopeful, youthful, daring songs for people who still dare, unabashedly.
Char listened to lots of the late 90’s radio songs like Blind Melon and Matchbox 20 and Eve 6. The songs everyone knows the words to but nobody knows the titles of.
And here sat these kids screaming into the French blue sky: AND THIS BIRD YOU CANNOT CHA-E-A-E-A-E-ANGEEEEEEE. Ugh. If it hadn’t made her so happy, it would have been annoying.
She spent her entire journey home from the abbey, the cab to the train to the airport to the airport to the airport to the taxi to home, beaming. Filled with so much hope for her son, the trip felt therapeutic.