Thursday, December 08, 2011

We were there

I drove by our old house today, parked on the narrow street like the stalker I never considered I would be. I saw myself there, stringing lights on the pear tree with my father. I saw the two of us hanging the wreaths on the front doors, the lights on the balcony rails.  I glanced through the windows and saw Mom there, gently and specifically hanging the ornaments on the Christmas tree. 

Sitting in my car, I could smell the pine logs burning in the fireplace, the ones I carried inside, the ones my father would watch and say, those are too heavy for you, Cat. But I did carry them, I wanted to be strong. And he smiled when they landed and connected flame with the others there.

I sat there and looked at each window and remembered the loved ones who slumbered on the other side of the glass, remembered the prayers we said out loud together.  I focused on the trees that were young when we built the house, young and tender, but so strong and tall now.

I looked at the white bricks and the green shutters and I smiled.  I saw us, all of us, on those stair steps, through those windows.  We were living our lives, just living our lives.

Sitting there, feeling like a connected outsider, nothing moved.  I remembered and remembered and remembered. With every ounce of me, and no effort at all.

It seemed that I should cry, but instead I smiled.  For once I smiled.  We lived our lives there, we loved there! So much love we shared there. For a moment, I saw it all, every bit of life we lived there.  I saw all the sparkles from our loving hearts.  And then I watched all of my memories rise up in the sky like beautiful bubbles, rising, rising, rising beyond my reach but not my view, not my heart.


Linda@VS said...

Beautiful, Alison. This just proves that we can go home again, at least in our hearts.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

How interesting... when I drive by my childhood home... I feel empty, an odd sense of longing - but nothing else. Glad you have such happy memories of your childhood!

sdhb said...

I hope you are always able to smile when you gaze at that house. So many happy memories of your very special family that made you the wonderful person you are!