Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ode to Hayward Street

After months of hot and cold activity, we signed papers today accepting the offer on our house.

The reality of loss sets in with a crushing weight, even though I have not slept there in months. No matter the justifications that this move is necessary, in spite of the assurances that all will turn out for the better, the door closes on hopes and dreams of 20 years that culminated in this house we designed together.

Our children chased each other through the rough framing as little ones, and scratched the softwood floor with their new scooters on a Christmas morning. Now, one is off to college, off to a new life all her own, returning at Thanksgiving to a home she has never seen. Now, the other has grown taller than me, his voice changed, his heart grown huge, his smile so proud when he slips the ball between my feet and races past in our soccer games.

Soon, three new children will spend their years here, snuggled on their parents’ bed during thunderstorms, learning about homework and hard work, readying for prom. In summer, they will fend off mosquitoes around the playhouse. On cold winter nights, they will eat popcorn, staring into the fireplace we built to fulfill a promise I made when we agreed to move to Vermont.

I could not imagine a better family to take our place. To truly be a Home, the house deserves such happiness and laughter. The central dining/kitchen/living area is all one space to support a busy family immersed together in the multi-activities of daily lives. Upstairs are rooms to find a little quiet and space to think alone. Above is a studio with Lake view (in winter) to create and express passion, and below is a basement for tinkering, and a teen haven we will never see.

Our family moves in different directions now, challenged to find our different ways, and still be family for all the important events in life.

Those delicious comments on my last entry are absorbed deeply with gratitude. This process of writing so honestly from the heart does make me seem hard on myself and in need of encouragement, but it is the process necessary when—despite all warnings to the contrary--the horse slides/is pushed out from under and one stands soaking wet in the middle of the torrent.

How do you decide which bank to swim for? Will you ever find Home again? Is it actually easier to just let go, submerge, and allow the embrace of the water to quiet all the questions? Can one ever dare to try another ride, either in that same saddle again, or on a horse colored differently?

It is important for me to understand that this house would not be changing hands had I made different choices about nailing the studs together and spreading mud over the sheetrock. My hands got dirty, for sure, but are cleaning up well. Still, cracks have appeared and some details of trim need to be finally finished before the new family can move in.

I love the home we built. I will miss it--and the family who lived there--with all my heart. I am proud of the man who built it and all that he tried to do. Even so--especially so--there are parts of him I have to fix. Embracing the act of writing has illuminated some of the dark corners, and in that light, the shadows have lessened. In celebration, I unpack my guitar and sing with ever clearer voice and more nimble fingers.

I am so grateful that there are those of you, Online and Inlife, who seem to like what you hear, and choose to sing along.

Please share with your friends


jouette said...

love and light on your journey.
thank you for making music that strums the heart ♥

Anonymous said...

Lovely post :-)

Suzann said...

as you know, when one door closes a new one opens - oh how difficult it is to remember when we are in the midst of that door closing. I love your honesty - a journey of and from the heart.

Pauline said...

One never really says goodbye to well-loved places or people. We revisit them over and over in our memories, in our active thoughts, in our dreams. I've lost two homes and found a third, lost three loves and still miss them all. Time has changed the way I look at them, and at myself. I no longer weep over those losses; pain lessens, laughter returns. It sounds as though this journey is changing you and when you write with such clarity about your feelings, surely those admissions bring a measure of relief.

Laurie said...

Oh my..........I am still searching for words to express how powerful yet tender this piece is. My heart is aching. I miss the house and what was too. I miss it for you. Incredible piece.

persistentillusion said...

I am just speechless.

Anonymous said...

I helped white wash all those walls!!! But I'm sure I'll do it again on another house some day soon. I love you dad!

Zannah said...

I didn't mean to be anonymous...I hit the wrong button. :)

Kip de Moll said...

These comments have all moved me with gratitude and excitement to look forward.

Jouette, you're inspiring me to actually work harder on posting an actual sound byte. It'll come just about the same time as Persistent Illusion posts her dance.

Carol--what I said on your blog rings eveer true.

Suzann--this blog is opening doors wider than I ever imagined. For every entry that makes it here, I have 5 ideas more swirling. I could type away all night every night.

Pauline--the writing definitely brings me clarity and relief. It is easier to lay something aside when you have acknowledged how it matters. And yes, it's always there: I can smell the air every day remembering the first house we built and the incredible mountain views from the deck.

Laurie--I'm going to have to start carrying a pin with me to relieve the swelling in my head every time I recall any of your encouraging words.

Hayden--speechless?!!! You?!!!! I am incredibly honored.

Zan--, I keep thinking having a daughter can't get any better, and then your cheery voice fills me with joy once again. You could NEVER be anonymous.
I love you, Dad

Patrick Halladay said...

As the soon to be new occupants of the house, we can only hope to continue the work you started. More than a place to lay our heads, what attracted us was the open first floor and the promise of popcorn, the views of the mountains, and the surrounding neighborhood. Together, they will allow us to forge a home, much more valuable than a house.

-The Halladays

Laurie said...

Did you know that this post was mentioned on as a part of their man thing? I submitted it. Did you submit it too?