I came back to the house having been away for over a month. This house. This room where I make my rugs. My kitchen. Where I have nurtured others with hot lemon drinks, warm meals, and cups of tea.
And it all felt so unfamiliar.
I cleaned. I did the laundry.
I worked away.
I thought about all the times I had been homesick when I was away from these walls. For the first time I understood that this house is just a house. I knew I could be happy anywhere as long as I had my hook and my writing.
This was a revelation.
I had never felt this before.
For a little while when I first came home and felt this house alone, by myself, I wondered what I had loved about it in the first place.
The yard felt overgrown.
The rooms were unlived in.
The rooms were unloved in.
So I cleaned the kitchen.
I washed out the fridge and filled it.
I put fruit in bowls.
I cleaned the bathrooms. Scrubbing toilets and scouring sinks. I wondered.
I hung my clothes in the closet.
I put away the books I'd left on my desk so many weeks before and put out new ones to be read.
I wandered from the house to the yard, tidying, nesting. I wondered.
Is this my place? Is this the place you love?
So I wiped down the stairs. I washed the windows.
And slowly my spirit filled the rooms again with belonging.
At first I was uncertain I belonged here in the same way I had when I left.
I heated up some leftovers my friend had sent me home with.
I boiled the kettle.
I made a cup of coffee.
I put on the new Kanye West Album.
I looked around and I began to see the house again as I once had.
Once again I was beginning to forget the flaws of age.
When your home is180 years old, things are never perfect.
Nor are they when you are 57.
Nothing is ever perfect.
But often it is good.
Often it is good enough.
And often this takes time to realize.
The good enough can be hard to see at times.
You can wonder,
I can wonder,
where home is and where we belong
or we can belong where we are as best we can
and we can let our spirit fill rooms.
We can let our heart soften to belonging
and we can love just by being there.
And now I sit here at the keys and I make this music
and I look at my frame and I know that it is time to come home.
Time to belong. Time to fall in love with these walls again.
I am always thankful that you read.
- Deanne Fitzpatrick