We soon made it into the maple woods, now cast in the first greening of spring. Life seemed to be returning with each step we took, surrounded by still empty branches but flowing once more with hope.
The path was as moss beneath our feet, soaked with the thaw of winter. All about us life was returning and it returned as an infant in an ancient Creation. Newborn life in all its forms, starting once more out of the memory of once was. The squirrels were thin, their tree top pantries having run low. But now there was work to be done. Birds, home rom their distant other places, were building new nests among the first leaflet of a new year. We walked deeper and deeper into the thickening maples, until the woods became more a forest. The growing shade of close trees eased us into the aging afternoon, and I could sense that Granddad was now on the look for a place that seemed to be hiding from him. He looked worried, an quite uncommon for him, for he had long lived with the peace having endured many, many things. But as air was becoming more dark than light, a small clearing did appear, and in the clearing, a log cabin of sturdy frame, made from what I supposed to have been the forest that once was even here.
There was smoke rising from the chimney; the tiny windows possessed a golden glow of warmth and light within. "We’re here," my Granddad said with a slight sigh within the words.
"And where is that, Granddad?" I then corrected myself, "I mean, where are we?"
He turned and said with a surging sense of peace, "Lad, we have finally have made to our own beginning. This is where our home began, our eternal new beginning, before which all things have become forgotten."
"Are they expecting us, the people who live here?"
Granddad laughed. "You still have yet to understand. We are the ones who live here and we now have made our great return. We’ve come home."
We entered through the rustic door, held shut with but a latch of rope. And when we entered, it did feel like home somehow. Each chair, each table, each blanket and rug, they felt like those we had chosen. Even the air of the place, felt like home. The fire was a fire we would have made, three logs stacked this certain way.
We made stew and biscuits. Granddad smoked his pipe from tobacco kept in dark brown jar that set upon the mantle and I read a book that was on the table beside the feather bed with the patchwork quilt. It was a book about Irish monks and fishermen as they voyaged mighty seas. And I read by the light of the fire until I could read no more.
We slept well that night and I heard the owls gathering in the night, one by one they gathered and watched out over me.