I visited my aunt the other day. Since I was a little girl, I have thought of her as a kindred spirit.We often joke I am more like her than her daughter just as my cousin is much like my mother.
We love reading and books. In fact, she is more of a reader than I am. I’ve seen her devour a novel in a day while sitting at the kitchen table. When I lived with her during my college summers and the fall semester before I married, we often set aside our school assignments–she is a retired Spanish teacher–for our current reads.
Kindred Spirits understand one another. But, that doesn’t mean they always like the same things. My aunt loves gardening. I am a killer of house plants. Her favorite story to tell on me is when I came to her and complained, “My hands are dirty.”
Yet, the older I get the more I see myself in her. People gravitate to her. They tell her things they might not dare tell anyone else. I have found that same privilege extended to me, something inherited from my grandmother and my aunt. People just share things with me. It’s a sacred honor.
Kindred Spirits know this about one another, too. They share their pain in nods and winks, but not always words. Some things don’t need to be said.
When they are, they are poignant. As when my aunt asked me, why do I always give her reading assignments that make her cry? She knows. She just asks anyway. No kindred spirit truly believes she could be trusted with so much.
Which is why she is.