me circa 1979
My mom and her partner Steve are visiting this week and we are doing some major rearranging and organizing and other good things around here. As I watch her with Ellie Jane, I can't help but think about my own grandmother and my own childhood and wonder what my mom must be thinking sometimes as she steps into this role of grandmother while watching her baby girl be a mother.
Thinking about that caused me to look through a few old photos tonight and there was this one. Me about three I think standing in the middle of the family room on Garland Circle. If I close my eyes and find my breath, I can travel back and feel the texture of that sofa and the nubby rug beneath my feet. I can see all the books lined up on the built-in shelves behind me and feel the smooth then bumpy spines of those green and maroon hardcovers. I can remember sitting right on that window seat singing Kenny Rogers' songs into my Fisher Price cassette player that would record my voice. I can see my dad sitting in that green chain and hear my mother humming along with Simon and Garfunkle in the kitchen. I can remember staring at those Norman Rockwell's and wondering about those two old men who must be friends. And then of course there was that odd statue. And then all those gorgeous pillows my mom made that she got rid of a few years ago that we now both wish she hadn't. And those windows. And the screened-in porch. And the coziness of that room and how there was just so much to see and take in and learn.
This is the house I dream about when my mind is quiet enough for me to remember. This is the house I walk through in my mind. This is the house I want to step back into and memorize and live in again just for a moment.
I am sitting with these memories tonight as I think about what matters to me when making a home and how letting go of emotional clutter in 10 bags to Goodwill felt like loosening my clutch on a getting too small shawl wrapped around me labeled grief. I am thinking about how beautiful it is to loosen that clutch on the roles I thought I played or how I assumed things would be. And loosening my grip on self-loathing in the form of being so angry with myself for clutter and holding on and trying to find my way to healing through buying too many bags of vintage lace or another blanket for Ellie that I just wanted her to have just in case something happened...
Loosening that grip lets the light in.
When we get done with this house this week, there is going to be so much light.
There is going to be a home full of light.