There in the rafters, there among the swallows homes, the shadows came to life, hinting at stories of where we had been, of what we had seen, of what he had done, and most remarkably of what there was still left to do. Each shadow play brought to life the memories of bridges we had crossed and of songs we had heard and sung, of people and their faces, their voices, their stories and the stories behind the stories that only now we were coming to know.
The shadow plays were as long dreams that fill a mind that escape the restraints of earth and body to voyage to other realms of existence and understanding. Each shadow play took its time as if the passing minutes had become passing nights, far fuller than than the clock would have allowed them to be.
From the first crossing of the frozen river, the shadows retraced our steps. We could feel once more the cold, grey stones of the empty abbey and frozen metal of the dying cannons. We could hear once more the howl of the wolves and the hoot of the owls, even the echo of our voices as they fell into the well. We could taste the pancakes and the cider; we could smell the smoke of the distant fire and the scent of the cathedral pines.
In one shadow play after another, after another, after another, the meories became as myths within our souls, enchantments of the ancient ways becoming the realities of present souls. With each few steps further in to the long, long bridge, one shadow play gave way to yet another, an unfolding flow of scenes that wove themselves together into the story of an old man's soul making its way into a young boy's dream.
And as the shadows came and went, the aging of my soul took place. Until the moment that we came to end of the long, long bridge and the stardust road returned, this time lit by the deep, rich golden red of the harvest moon.
The steps we took now were slowed by my grandfather's slowing pace, a wistful pace, wanting each step to be remembered forever. But then it came, the time I somehow knew would be coming, the Last Stop along the Way.
We came upon a white picket fence, throughout laces with Queen Elizabeth climbing roses. And there we entered in.