Category: Grandma Kyra


Morning

“Good morning Kyra,” said Papa.

“Good morning Papa,” yawned Kyra, still rubbing the sleep from her eyes. No matter how early she rose, Papa always seemed to be up and he always looked perfectly manicured. His white tunics were nothing but pristine, each fold easy and crisp, the cut looking tailor made.

“Have a seat and join me.” With a grace that even a child could notice, Papa lifted his off-white cup of snizzle to his tanned lips, took a sip, and as effortlessly allowed the cup to float back to the table. A cool morning breeze rolled in from the ocean, palm trees bowing as servants in the wind, their broad leaves whispering approval. The ocean looked warm, inviting. The waves were gentle but not calm and the hue, forever changing, shown with a turquoise sheen rarely seen with such clear brilliance. Colors blue and green shifted in the sun as a kaleidoscope, patterns morphing to the limit of the imagination with shapes and values light and dark, rich and light, inviting and forbidden. Golden sand basked in sun and water, silent in private joy, as comfortable in solitude as a welcome mat waiting patiently for the patter of guests seeking solace and renewal. “Close your eyes and take a breath.”

Kyra pulled up a chair and sat at the table, her feet not quite reaching the aged wooded deck. Closing her eyes she took a deep practiced breath, just as Papa had taught. Silently, she breathed in to a count of four, her focus on the flow of warm ocean air on the tip of her nose. Holding the breath for a second count of four, almost swirling the warmth in her chest, she gently released the exchange back into the breeze with a third count of four.

“Give me your hand and we’ll do this together,” said Papa. Without opening her eyes, Kyra held out her small white hand and into the leathery mitt of Papa’s palm, like a baseball in a mitt, her hand disappeared in his. Together, in silence, the two breathed in the morning, heart-rates slowing, seeking and finding harmony as large drum to small drum might. His hand felt large and warm and somehow tender in strength. His breath, its rhythm and pace, felt as a rope, a belay, holding her in a safe place, a place where a touch said more than words, where a breath brought peace and a heartbeat conveyed love. Their breathing synchronized; and slowly their hearts. From a window Grand looked out and smiled. The love Zeke showed to Kyra, so consistent day in and day out, so kind and gentle and loving, as one might show a delicate flower that needed just the right amount of sun and water to flourish, that love she thought, was Zeke. He didn’t try. He didn’t plan. He simply was. Where love began and Zeke stopped was as difficult to separate as the point where one body of water became another. The two were simply one and the same. And so Grandma Kyra stood and watched and smiled through eyes that had never lost their wonder. She would leave Hyneria before him but not without him.

“Kyra, I love you,” said Papa.

“I love you too Papa.”

“Do you know where we are?” he asked, his eyes, like hers, still closed, his tone as soothing as warm honey, the grip on her hand neither too tight nor too loose.

Kyra smiled with lips closed. “Here. We are here Papa.”

“And what time is it my dear child?”

“Kyra smiled again. “Now. It is now Papa.”

“And when we sit here tomorrow, and look over the glorious ocean, tell me–“

Kyra cut him off. “Here and Now. Our appointment with life Papa.”

Papa smiled and held her hand a little tighter as if to emphasize his approval. “And when we love someone?”

“Oh Papa, you know the only time you can love someone is Now and the only place is Here.”

“Open your eyes Kyra and look at me. I want you to listen to me very closely.” Papa took her other hand in his and pulled his chair up to hers. Their knees were touching. “You are a very special child and I love you very, very much.”

Kyra smiled, pulled her hands from Papa’s and launched herself into his arms, her whole body fitting in his chest as arms and legs wrapped around him. “Papa, I love you too.”

Papa stood and twirled her around as if the two were dancing center stage with the sun and the breeze looking on at love manifesting itself in the natural order, the way it should be. Grand had seen this scene played out a hundred times and for the hundredth time she raised her right arm and wiped her eyes with her sleeve.

My Precocious One


“Papa?” asked Kyra.

“Yes, my dear?”

“You never did answer my question. And you know what?”

Papa played serious. “Tell me my precocious one, what?”

“I’m holding you hostage, til’ you talk.”

“Is that right?” responded Papa, trying his best to hold back a grin.

“Right as rain off a pampus back,” shot back Kyra in all seriousness.

“Well, we can’t have that now can we. Repeat the question.”

“You told me you painted because of Luin, but you didn’t say why?”

“Didn’t I?” Papa smiled.

“Oh Grand?,” called Kyra.

“Hey, hey, now I didn’t say I wouldn’t tell you, but wouldn’t you rather I show you?”

Kyra frowned.

“Okay. How bout this. I show and tell?” Papa held out his hands.

Kyra hesitated before slapping both her hands down on his aged palms, weathered soft with care and concern. “Deal!”

“Come here child.” He motioned to a blank canvas. “Tell me what you see?”

Kyra squirreled her cheeks into the dimples that would later melt hearts. “I see a Papa messing with my deal.”

“How so?” asked Papa with false indignation, tilting his head and widening his eyes for effect.

Kyra huffed, “You said show and tell.” Then matching him, for effect, she put her hands on her hips. “Not, tell and show.”

Papa couldn’t hold back as laughter rolled from belly to cheeks. Then he lowered his voice and his face took a serious tone. “I paint because it makes you smile.”

Kyra looked into his eyes and Papa returned the gaze. Then quick as lightning she leaned over and kissed his cheek. “I love you Papa.”

“But I’m not finished. Don’t you want to hear the rest?”

“No, not really. Got what I needed.” Then Kyra jumped off his lap and skipped away.

“Zeke?” asked Grand, watching Kyra fly past her.

“Yes dear?”

“What did you do now?”

“Whaaat? I was just educating the girl on the aesthetic philosophies of Luin.”

Shaking her head Grand smiled.

“See. It works.” Papa smiled and opened his arms. Grand folded into the embrace, warmth on warmth, her head on his chest finding comfort in the beating of his bottomless heart.

“You haven’t told her yet?” asked Grand, her voice barely a whisper.

“No.”

Categories: Story, Papa, Kyra, Grandma Kyra

Rainbow Owls

Kyra held Em tight, for whose benefit could no more be determined than what was twilight and what was dusk. In warmth, comfort found, and in silence memories roamed, triggered by a touch, a smell, or in this case, a simple phrase that opened the door to a time long forgotten (ago). Perhaps the coldness, perhaps the utter isolation, or perhaps the look on Em’s face and those simple words took Kyra back to Valla, to a time where need and want blended beyond perception.

“Papa, I’m scared,” said Kyra as she pulled her small four-year-old knees into her tiny chest as if she could roll herself into a doodlebug; her chin tucked in the valley of her knees, her eyes rolled upward like full moons looking toward the sun of Papa’s face. Papa sat on the edge of her bed, his tanned complexion appearing golden and warm in the soft light from the nightstand, one hand resting on the bed and the other on his knee. Trying not to smile, for fear Papa would leave, for why would he stay if there was not a fear to ease, Kyra took a breath of Papa, a scent forever consistent, from earliest memories to the dock, a scent that could only be described as a non-scent, a scent of purity, of freshness, of cleanliness, of a fresh ocean breeze, yet, however one wanted to characterize it, the scent was Papa and the scent was confidence and the scent forever held the key to a thousand memories.

“We are all scared Kyra. If you tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine.” Papa spoke to Kyra as an equal, as he would an adult in tone and delivery. There was no baby talk. There was no paternalistic patting of the head, of presupposition, but an openness to share without façade, to share on what he called a higher plane, which was to say, to share with the intent not to protect or even educate, but to share with the intent, to take the opportunity so clear in his mind, to build trust, to build relationship, to build the bonds of love and to do so not as one above the other, not as grandparent to grandchild, but to build a relationship in the flow of love with the acknowledgement that in that flow, there is no superior, no distinction, there is just the melding of souls into the universal mother of existence.

With the very thought that her Papa had fears too, that he was willing to share them with her, Kyra felt her heart open into the warmth of his being, as she would countless times over the next two decades. In later years, her mind often raced to find an incongruity in his behavior, to find a time when she felt she could not open herself to him, and she marveled at how he did it, at how no such time existed. Papa was not perfect, but he was perfectly open and honest and loving.

“There is a sound Papa, from outside. Be very quiet.” And so they sat for a couple minutes like two big radar stations on watch, ears attuned for the sound. “There it is Papa,” said Kyra, her arms springing from her knees like a lock released. “Did you hear it?”

“I did indeed.”

“See, I told you something was out there. What is it Papa?”

“It’s a mother owl singing a lullaby to her babies. The trees around our villa are filled with these beautiful creatures. In fact, they glow the most beautiful colors of the rainbow when they are happy. Would you like to go see them?”

Kyra looked up as if Papa had just told her of a magical tale, one just outside their doors.

“Let’s get dressed,” said Papa standing up. “Put on your slippers and a coat and I’ll go do the same and we’ll go sit and watch and listen.”

Papa came back a few minutes later and Kyra jumped on his back, arms around his neck and legs locked tightly around his ribcage. Papa could feel her small heart beating against his back and he smiled at the great adventure she must have felt. Grandma Kyra stood in the kitchen, a smile on her face, her robe on her shoulders, as they exited the back door.

“Kyra?” asked Em. “Sorry I didn’t mean to startle you.”

Kyra smiled, “Sorry Em, I was just lost in thought.”

“Are we going to be okay?”

“Have I ever told you about the time I first heard the rainbow owls back home?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Let’s grab a seat. I think you’ll like this story.”

Commentary within the reading: Rainbow Owls

Categories: Story, Kyra, Papa, Grandma Kyra, Emy

Grandma Kyra

Grand’s Brooch

Kyra was just a small child when her grandmother passed away. She remembered standing by the bed while the adults around her stared off into the distance with glassy eyes. Papa tried to comfort her, but her heart was too tender to find comfort in words. Grandma was leaving and she wasn’t coming back.

In a quiet moment when no one else was around, Grandma had whispered for Kyra to retrieve a small box hidden in the nightstand. Grandma’s eyes widened as she opened it. Kyra couldn’t quite see, but the contents seemed to glow. Grandma sat up with a smile on her tired face that Kyra hadn’t seen in some time.

“Come close dear sweet child,” the words barely audible. “This brooch was the first thing Papa ever made for me. Said it took him years to save the money to purchase the golden nugget and many months to work on the design. I don’t think your Papa was ever so proud of anything else he had ever given me. I want you to have it.”

Kyra remember not knowing what to say. The brooch looked brand new, yet she had seen grand wearing it on many official occasions. The detail and care that papa put into it boggled her young mind. That her own Papa Kyra had produced this with his own hands made it more than a keepsake.

“Miss Kyra, the crew is expecting you,” said Goldie, snapping Kyra back into the moment. “Tell them I’ll be there as soon as I finish my snizzle.” Kyra always felt uncomfortable when she told a white lie. Her snizzle was cold and she was finished with it, but she wasn’t finished with the sanctuary of a few closely held memories. She needed just another minute to remind herself of who she was.

“Dear child, I give you this brooch to close the circle,” grandma had said. She must have noticed the puzzled look on my face Kyra thought. “This brooch has value in that it represents love. When you hold this brooch you hold love. Only love would save for years; only love would labor for months; and only love could light up your papa’s eyes like they did when he gave this to me.”

“Take it Kyra,” grandma had urged. “Close the circle between us three. Papa always said love was truth, that love would conquer all. I don’t know what he saw on Zael, but your papa’s heart came back ten-fold the size that it was. He told me that’s when he started saving.”

“I love you my dear sweet child. Keep this brooch. Hold it close to your heart and know that the gleam of light in your eye is the sparkle of my soul forever protecting you with the shield of love given to me by your papa and which I now bestow upon you.”

The day was starting, if one could call time in space such. Between the ring and the brooch, Kyra had all the grounding she needed to see clearly. Time to make things happen.

Goldie and Snizzle

“Good morning Kyra. Come drink your snizzle before it gets cold.”

How a mechanical contraption could sound like her grandmother never failed to surprise Kyra. Brushing the dark long hair out of her eyes she threw one leg followed by the other off the bed and headed for her breakfast nook.

Morning Hynerian, Kyra was not. She loved her snizzle and refused to start the day without it. Goldie, as Kyra called her personal assistant, had perfected brew time and temperature. Of course, since Papa Kyra had built her, exact attention to detail was a given. That he gave her Ms Papa Kyra’s voice was a gift. A gift to whom, she chuckled, was still a mystery since Papa seemed to enjoy having Goldie around as much as she did.

Grandma had passed away a few years before Kyra came of age. Within six months, love and grief had built Goldie using Papa’s hands, mind and heart. The only surprise for Kyra was that Papa gave her away. But as he always said, “Sweet baby, I had your grandma for many years, you but a few. This is my way of correcting that injustice.”

How a Zing Tao of the Ninth Order could have such love in his heart, such compassion—well, that was the very thing that Ji saw in Papa. “Love was Truth,” Ji would say with all seriousness. “No Truth, no Zing Tao,” he quickly added with a laugh that put everyone at ease.

According to Papa, Ji had an outstanding sense of humor. “Humor reminds us what we don’t know. Why do you laugh,” Ji would often query a new recruit. Of course, no one knew where laughing came from and before the questioned could make a fool of him or herself, Ji would slap his hand down on the table making as large a booming noise as possible exclaiming, “And That’s the Point! Don’t know.” And with a sparkle in his eyes, Ji would let out a booming laugh that echoed the love within his heart for teaching.

Time for some snizzle. Ah, if only Papa had build Goldie to enjoy it with her.