He had made the pilgrimage as promised. He didn’t know if he believed the ancestors would know he’d kept his word, but life was complicated enough without angering spirits, ancestral or not.
And it would have made his mother happy to know he’d visited the bridge his great-great-great-great-grand (or however many generations it was) had helped build. She’d always longed to make the trip back herself, and couldn’t.
“The sweat of your ancestor dripped into the stones,” his mother had told him, “his blood and thus yours lives in them.”
He heard her voice in Jia’s when the child, sober in pigtails and pink frilly dress, studied the structure. “So this is where we came from?”
His daughter walked to the first pile and touched it reverently. “Zēngzǔfù built this one,” the six-year-old stated. “Nǎinai told me. She showed me in my dream last night.”