This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.
— David Whyte, The House of Belonging
The house is full more frequently now. Filled with pets and friends and memories. The nest is empty and yet it’s not, all at once. This is how we do things, you and I. The walls echo with memories of a house full of people who filled our hearts and danced with their moment in our lives. We built this house hoping for all that has transpired in the days that followed, and the days to come.
Soon the leaves will fall again, blanketing the landscape indifferent to my pleas for relief. They’ve always reminded me in such times that they were here first, and most likely will be here when I’ve moved on again. The trees drew us to this plot of land, and root us to it, even as I grumble at them I know this to be true: they will carry on without me one day.
The perennials come back every year, rising in the spring to look around at the world. Each year I’ve been here to greet them, as I do the hummingbirds and bees that know a reliable garden when they see it. Seasons come and go, and still we remain, doing our part to make this plot of land sing. Some things remain resilient, other things return to earth sooner than we’d want them to, and we remain to do with it all what we can. At least for now.
Lately we’ve danced with the idea of beginning again in a smaller place, leaving this place for others to build their own lives. We both like round numbers and feel we might pull off three decades in this home, just as we said we would when we built it for the baby we knew and the one on the way who would only know this house as her home. She reminds us of this still, far from home but still everywhere within it. They’ve both left their mark here, as their parents have. As the circle of family and friends and pets have. We’ve met the years with love and purpose.
We’ve seen what decline looks like, in loved ones old and young alike. None of us were born without an expiration date. These are days to remember, and to hold on to for as long as there’s another season. Our lives, like this house, are only as full as we make them. All the things that make up our days dance in our memories. Each has made us who we are, together.