I drove home this weekend, not because I wanted to find comfort among family and friends but because my son made a commitment and I have a stout believe in living up to your words.
My devoted family always welcomes me with loving arms spread wide like an old bible found laying open beside my bed and so I drove many hours to this remote country where my past becomes my present. The day turned to night during the journey but I knew that upon arrival the lights would be on, the gate laid open and a warm meal would await its wary travelers.
Sunday mornings are the only moments that the kitchen table has no lingerers. The pot, on a stove top that never cools, overflows with promises of satisfaction not only in its contents but from the sermon it will follow. I feed my soul in the communion but leave my stomach wanting after church because in this moment I have found a brief solitude in which to write. So with the convertible’s top neatly packed away, I sit in the passengers seat, letting the soft breeze tousle my hair, cooling the skin that slopes along the back of my neck. The sun in its warmth glistens on the rippled pond invoking memories of afternoons spent exploring its treasures. This oasis is a reward for a honest days work.
Watching the trees dancing with each other my gaze follows the waves as they lead me to The Blue House. Every house has a name here, The Little House, The Big House, The Old Place, 3 Bears, The Tunes Place, and in those names there is meaning far more complicate that the words convey. Stories told at the dinner table in the evenings light offer fragments to the rich history I have still yet to learn though I have listened to them all my life. The Blue House was my Big Grandma’s toward the end of her years. She had moved from the log cabin nestled deep in the valley reluctantly but, knowing the value of kinship and her ever declining health she moved never the less. My eyes do not see the dilapidated exterior for there is no place felt more cared for. Though the broken branches rest on rusted roof tops, it does not hamper the corrugated metal from its responsibility to shelter the chickens from the rain. Even from my distance I hear their gay chatter as they go about the laying of eggs.
There is a fence between The Blue House and The Little House of which I stay when I come here. The sharp barbs on the wire have left there marks on my back many times as I crossed over in my youth from one house to the other and although they have faded I feel them still… for The Blue House is my home now. Once filled with savory aromas that drew me in from play now smells of absents.
Today I must cross into what was and try to not get lost in what is. Though I delicately spread the wires it does not prevent the barbs from cutting into me and in doing so leaving new marks that only time can mend yet I do not know that they will ever heal.
Cautiously, I walk through the kitchen yet I do not disturb the dust that settled on the mason jars neatly stacked on the counter after being washed so many years ago by her attentive hands. My home is a chest I have rarely opened for fear that the hope that dwells there might blow away becoming lost in uncharted waters. It is her memory that breathes life into these walls and that guides my vessel to safe harbors. It is the once vibrant caribbean blue that clings to the old wooden siding that this house was first named but it is the glory of the ocean to the travelers who pass through it that the meaning holds.