Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 5 of 30 Days of Ghostly, Vintage Romance

Everyone is searching for something.

Last day in NJ. Everything is done that can be done. I am so thankful for my friends in SF that kept the machinery of hearth and home moving along perfectly. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Part of me is so tired that I don't have room for nostalgia. Natty and I tried to find the stalks of the peony bush near my mother's bedroom window, but winter has hidden it and tomorrow snow may hide it further. There is no surface I haven't cleaned, no box I haven't packed. Nightmares of the sound ripping packing tape, the sight of an unswept corner, or overlooked closet will haunt me for years.

I wanted to tell the painters something stupid like please take care of this house, please do her well and make her shine, please make her into something a family will want. A place where children will play in the backyard and run barefoot in the summer evenings. A basement to play hide and seek, an attic to curl up with a book and make plans of who they will become when they grow up. A den and back bedroom that face the setting sun.

The smell of my parents and of time is still rife in the walls, the open ceiling of the basement, the perfume of the linen closet. Memories permeate the walls and the floors, and sometimes I stand there and feel like I can't move, that I can't part from a place where so much love and life transpired.

But the heart of the house has left. My parents will be happy in their new life. I'm left to shut the door and look at the quince tree that left its fruit on the steps every autumn. The door I opened and the house I shouted into, "I'm home."


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