Four Walls

Photo by Kayley Dlugos

The sun feels warm on my back. It is once again Spring. Sitting on the rug, in a pool of sunlight, I am saying my goodbyes.

My gaze moves across the room, interrupted occasionally by the sight of a memorable object or a nick or smudge. Our signatures.

A gash on the parquet floor here, a chewed chair leg there. The thumping of music and feet here, a serious discussion about the future there. Each square centimeter used, and at times abused but always felt.

There is a bird’s eye view of the tops of blossoming cherry and apple trees from this vantage point. The park full of little people tackling the sand box and swing set provides an entertaining visual from another window. Each aperture participatory to a daydream, a decision, a disappointment. Each view providing a different perspective.

There were bubble bath days in one room with squeals of laughter wrapped in warm soft towels and aromatic vapor.

Another room was, for a long time, a repository of sadness and anxiety; a reminder of loss and pain. The door to that room remained shut and we ignored its existence while we took our time to heal. Then one day, we flung it open and made peace once more.

The pounding of feet on the wooden stairs, the whir of the heater and the ticking of the kitchen clock will be locked away, as will the mini earthquake produced by the washer’s centrifuge setting and the fire alarm screeching disapproval to burnt toast at least once a week.

All the quirks of this space, not just inhabited but also exhaled and absorbed. The way the sky looks, dark heavy and purple black during a storm. The way the wind lashes the rain against the french doors; the way the garden smells afterwards. The crackle of the fireplace and the pungent odor of manure from the nearby farms will all be filed away.

I remember the bone chilling cold when these four walls were still skeletal and under construction. How everything had been soaked in grey, heavy and foreboding; the air thick with the smell of wet cement.

Now, after years and years of living, it smells of us; a testament to our life.

But, it has come time to say goodbye. We had a good run here, where our secrets are deposited and where we have laid ourselves bare. Where our lives have been documented and will be preserved for eternity within the layers and pores of these four walls.

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