Sunday, June 12, 2011

One Step at a Time

On Friday I listed our house for rent on Kijiji. We received a number of serious inquiries, enough to make us hold an "open house" today. This was our second open house. The first happened about a month or so ago, back when we were looking for students and a 10-month lease. But a lot of shifting has happened in that past month. Shifting and a subtle sense of letting go.

All along, the one thing I held on to was the house. That was the one thing I wanted. Just give me the house every summer. Our old neighbourhood, our busting out garden, the laneway, the friends, beer on the porch and wine and dinner on the back patio. Our own space. HOME.

And all along, there was a tiny voice in my head saying, "It ain't gonna work, Kathy. You're gonna have to let it go."

And it turns out the little voice was right. If we're going to be non-residents of Canada, we really do have to be NON-residents of Canada. Of our house. Even if it's just for a few weeks every summer.

I've been good. I've been letting it go, bit by bit, letting it sink in that this really IS our last summer in this home. I've been lovingly weeding the garden, spreading the mulch, transplanting tremendously large and healthy plants to the laneway side of the fence. Just doing it. Not really thinking too much about this that or the other.

But last night, as I prepared for our second open house, it hit me. I realized that this time, we probably would find the right renters. This time would probably be it. A passing of the baton. Please take care of our baby. We've given her lots of love these past five years.

And as I was racing against the clock last night, trying to dig out weeds and plant more flowers by the laneway before it became too dark, that really fabulous part of the evening settled in. The part that coincides with the time the mosquitoes decide to come out to play. If you want to relish it, you have to suck it up buttercup and deal with the biting mosquitoes. Cause this part of the evening rocks. There was good reggae music and the sounds of talk and laughter from someone's backyard party. And there was the smell of a campfire from another. And the peace and quiet that comes once the kids are tucked in bed and it's too early for the drunks to start coming out. And while I dug, I took some mighty deep breaths and thought, "I am going to MISS THIS."

See this?
This is the room Kaiya was born in. This very room, on that very bed. This is also the room that has seen the most of my tears over one thing or another. It has seen Jeff and I fight... and make up... It has seen us collapse in exhaustion after long and busy days, and has held us while we have slept. And it's finally the right colour. This room.

And see this?
How many of you have sat in this room with us? Laughed with us, argued with us, even cried with us? How many good, life-changing conversations have been had in this room? This room.

It's just a house, I know. But this house has seen so much. So much more than the other houses. And this house has watched us journey and transform and grow-up. I'm happy to be who I am now. And that change happened here. In this house.

This morning, 10 minutes before our first potential renter was due, a song popped into my head. A song from long ago that will surely date me. And foolishly, I looked it up on Youtube and choked back the tears as I listened and remembered. It's perfect.

And, as always, it's for you, Jeff.

If These Walls Could Speak

If these old walls,
If these old walls could speak
Of the things that they remember well,
Stories and faces dearly held,
A couple in love
Livin’ week to week,
Rooms full of laughter,
If these walls could speak.

If these old halls,
If hallowed halls could talk,
These would have a tale to tell
Of sun goin’ down and dinner bell,
And children playing at hide and seek
from floor to rafter,
If these halls could speak.

They would tell you that I’m sorry
For bein’ cold and blind and weak.
They would tell you that it’s only
That I have a stubborn strreak,
If these walls could speak.

If these old fashioned window panes were eyes,
I guess they would have seen it all--
Each little tear and sigh and footfall,
And every dream that we came to seek
Or followed after,
If these walls could speak.

They would tell you that I owe you
More than I could ever pay.
Here’s someone who really loves you;
Don’t ever go away.
That’s what these walls would say.


Mandy K said...

Great entry Kathy! Wishing you plenty of love and fresh new memories to be made for the next leg of the journey...

Tracie said...

Couldn't listen to the song. Started to...but not today. Great post. I felt all sentimental like this when I left our Chaplin house. Funny how you bond with some houses. Bless you as you let go. Here's to creating new memories but always hanging on to the sweet ones we've made.

James said...

When we left our apartment in Kitchener, we were driving away for the last time, and "Sun in an Empty Room" by the Weakerthans came on randomly on my iPod. We both cried.

Jasmine said...

so I am catching up with your blog at work, and you are going to make me cry! lol. I am holding back my tears, I really don't need my co-workers to see that lol.
hope to see you soon!