The water is sparkling but the path that winds its gentle way around the lake is cool, sheltered by the leaning woods. Theo is picking his way, sometimes ahead, sometimes behind, chattering incessantly. He loves these hikes, even if he does get squeamish about the giant slugs that loll across the trail like tomorrow doesn’t matter. There are ferns everywhere and cobwebs too – silvery wisps to elaborate shawls from more illustrious weavers. Quietly refreshed, we hurry home for dinner. A dead bird lies on the side of the road home.
“Look mommy, I guess he’s going to be spending his time in heaven…or hell, I am not sure.”
“That depends,” I said, “I don’t know if he’s been a good bird or not.”
I could not resist a ‘teachable moment’ even when I was undecided what I wanted to teach. Oops too late, so begins a deliberation on what happened in hell and heaven and whether it was forever.
“In hell, do you feel guilty all the time, forever?”
“Yes, that’s it,” I said.
That’s about the right pitch for now. Fair warning too, I guess.