Monday, July 11, 2011

comings and goings

{the walled garden at osborne on the isle of wight}

she stands at the top of the stairs and starts to walk straight down, but then changes her mind. instead of hurrying, she inhales a deep breath, turns, and takes a last look at her bedroom door and the emptied-out space lying beyond it, her eyes sweeping across the vacant air where her childhood played itself out.

she heads out one door and through another to her first apartment that, by the end of the day, will be filled with boxes and bags containing the vital things bed, bath and beyond supplied, things like a colander, a blender, a vegetable peeler, pots and pans, sheets, pillows, towels, a shower curtain, a bath mat.....

in and out of rooms, the flow of life in a home is an an endless repetition of comings and goings. generations of friends and family stay here and then leave us. until they return, we are quiet and alone in this space. but then, here they come again. in the summer we throw open the windows and let the breezes wash over us. oftentimes, all the beds are occupied, with extra sleeping cots for the overflow of bodies on the screen porch—mosquitoes, fireflies, raccoons, coyotes and bats inhabiting the darkness past the wire mesh. in winter, with the smell of woodsmoke and pine outside, people are closed up, cozy and crowded, inside.

we welcome the food, the stories, the chaos, the sweet noise people and dogs bring with them, reverberations that cross the threshold and rhythms that hold us solidly together even when we are far apart.