Life can fit a lot into one day, which rocks the world of an introvert. Today was one of those. An hour of heartfelt spousal conversation followed by 8 hours of training at work, followed by drinks and appetizers with colleagues and then an hour at the lovely and sad viewing of a dear friend’s mother who recently died. It’s enough to fry my single emotional neuron until it sizzles, yet so satisfying to touch all the surfaces of my world in just one day.
Coming home at the end of this day, finding my quiet home and family waiting for me, reminds me of how precious that peace truly is. Here I get to rest my body and, more importantly, my mind. Here I know every inch of wall and window, every loose board and squeaky hinge. As my shoes come off and the purse gets tucked away in its corner, my brain lets go of the dust and grime of the day’s interaction and resumes the gentle hum of relaxation.
Not every day is as crazy as this one, so on many evenings I fail to appreciate the value of a warm, well-lit place to call my own. Tonight I celebrate that value and sing it to the heavens. What a privilege to have this tiny corner of the earth impenetrable by the outside world. How sweet to remember all the battles fought to keep it, some barely won. I’m not much a creature of sentiment, but I care for this tiny yellow house as passionately as I ever cared for any place in the world. As the weather gets cold and the wind starts to whistle at night, this is a dear and welcome place to be.
I’ve lived in many places over the years, but this one has been my home the longest. This little village has seen the most difficult and humiliating chapters of my life as well as some of the most joyous. I’ve been married here and bought a house here and watched my children grow here and mourned deaths here. This is where I’ve made friends and lost friends, laughed and danced and howled and wept. Home.
Tomorrow will be another day to get up and leave home to deal with the outside world. The excitement and weariness of moving amongst people will sweep me along until at last, like being spit from the final spate of roiling rapids, I will coast peacefully to a halt and be home again. This is a pattern I could get used to, this gentle rhythm of days and weeks punctuated by long sleep and easy wakings. I have called many places home over the years and loved them all. The beauty of this one is that I have been walking through its doors for enough years now that it is second nature to me. This is the place that holds more memories for me than any other since childhood, and the one where I want to see new ones blossom. In tomorrow’s excitement I could easily forget how fine it is to let the pressure off and put my feet up at the end of the day. Tonight, I’m celebrating it.
©Mary Braden 2013