Saturday, September 10, 2011
Does a house become part of you, or do you become a part of it?
When we move out of a house, we leave behind our fingerprints. Not just the smudges and scrapes that will be painted out, but the laughter, the tears, the games and the wrestling (have boys, will wrestle), the talks, the marks of time spent here. The food stains on the ceiling (!), pine needles lurking from the Christmas tree, and a few dog and cat hairs tucked in the corners. The dent in the wall (wrestling again). I have left parts of me behind in different houses: places where babies were born, favorite dogs died, achievements succeeded and failures etched. I do think that walls absorb the mood and atmosphere of the people living there: the impression, literal and figurative, that is left behind of the lives lived within those walls.
When we move out, we also take part of the house with us. Memories of holiday crowds, birthday gatherings, the phone call, "Hey Mom, I'm on the freeway about an hour out, see you soon." The scar on the chin (wrestling again). The meals cooked, shared together as we laugh and talk. The quiet moments and the crazy chaos of life. Scads of photos. The atmosphere created within that house goes with us, carried over to a new house. New fingerprints to be smudged on the new walls, hands washed in a new sink, impressions and the atmosphere of our family that will create a home within those walls.