A Letter To The House
by Carmen H Gray
Thank you for providing a blank slate at first for us. The yard was dead and ugly. The inside was dreary and dark. We transformed your stagnant state into rich colors of children’s laughter, joyful gatherings of family and friends, a place to watch my children grow and change.
I remember the trampoline in the backyard, the one my son helped me claim from a Craigslist ad one hot and sweaty summer. The same trampoline when it magically snowed one winter became a plate of white. I foolishly let my children jump on it (slip and slide on the ice, more likely) while wearing costumes I had stitched together for them.
I remember laughter, tears, fights, painting rooms, garage sales, tiling the porch and single-handedly reconstructing the dead space of the front yard into a living and breathing garden of verdant beauty. The sage blooming purple flowers before the rains, the fragrant rosemary and lavender I planted near the porch so visitors would inhale beauty upon entering our home. Rock roses creeping everywhere. One summer of giant, colorful zinnias that looked like lollipops in a fairy land. The silvery artemesia expanding everywhere and inspiring me one summer to drink absinthe. Every fall, watching the brightness fade and die by winter. Every spring, it coming back to life by May’s end.
I remember children’s parties, the tireless preparations, the cleaning, the laughter and the tears, again. I remember hamsters, gerbils and cats and dogs and fights over owning pets and giving them all the care and time they needed. I remember the last years of my college cats’ lives-Wolfie and Layla-were spent mostly at the house across the street, with the sweet, elderly neighbor who was suffering from dementia and enjoyed their company.
I remember the emptiness at the end of it all. Coldness, sadness, loneliness. And pain. Lots and lots of pain. Tears. Broken things. Suffocating silence.
I remember you with all of the layers of love, house. I remember you guarding it all. And I thank you for that chapter in my life. The joy and the sorrow. Living life.
I release you today. Because all things are just that. And life is nothing but change, evolution, fluidity, the infinite transformation of energy.