“Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow that I’ll say good night until tonight becomes tomorrow.” ~ Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.
The house appeared to us late one afternoon in August. To this day, I believe we did not find the house, the house already knew us, and was waiting for us to locate it. We were destined to live here.
It wasn’t until the next day that we entered the property, climbed the two stairs up onto the front veranda, walked through the front door and felt the welcoming embrace of the essence of the building. We were home.
This house was not simply bricks and mortar, this house was our home, and our home had a soul, and the soul of the home protected us, nurtured us and guided us along the path that our lives would take throughout the next nine years.
When I look back on those years, I lived in abundant happiness, every day. Perhaps they were the happiest years of my life. In many ways I believe they were, even through the occasional time of sadness, yet with hindsight, as I reflect on those sad times, they were really only sad moments, times when there was a lesson to be learned and some growing to be done.
Everything happens for a reason, even the sadness we experience in our lives. And all of the sadness I felt whilst living in this home was preceded by extreme happiness.
I learned how to grow up during my years of living here. There were lessons to learn. Friendships were formed, and lost. Pets shared our home with us, and some were lost to us. Devastating news was received. A monetary fortune was earned. And throughout every event which took place during those nine years there remained an overwhelming sense of joy, and gratitude, love and happiness.
My two eldest children were born whilst we lived here. Our home held many parties and with every new visitor to our home, there became one constant theme, that our home felt inviting and welcoming. Our home loved and needed our presence, just as it welcomed the arrival of our friends, family and our children.
When the year of 1992 began, everything changed. A subtle shift could be felt, a shift which I initially rejected. I felt afraid.
The most devastating news imaginable reached me from afar. That very same week, I discovered that my third child was on her way. There were changes taking place also with the means to our fortune, the income would soon dwindle. Work situations were changing…..
Change was in the air, in every aspect of our lives…..
Our beloved home knew that the time had arrived for us to prepare to leave.
I have one extremely vivid memory of this time of change, of a day when I was at home, alone. Of a day when I felt the walls of my home gently speaking to me, telling me to let go. I wanted to hug my home and never let go, yet all I could manage to do was lean against the wall, and cry and cry. I realised that I must heed the signs, and stop fighting. I had to listen, I had to let go.
That was the day I faced reality. I cried my heart out for my impending losses. My fear of losing a loved one, which would ultimately take me away from my home. The loss of all of the wonderful friends I had made whilst living here. The loss of this suburb, this city where my home was located. The loss of my beloved home.
Over twenty years have passed by since I left that home, yet my eyes are welling with tears as I recall leaving there, although even then, I knew it had to be.
A force far greater than anything I had ever experienced in my life, and far greater than anything I have since felt, had come into play. I had no control. I knew that I had to leave.
Methodically, I packed up my home. Progressively, the life I had been living for the previous fifteen years in this city of magic was neatly packed away into what seemed to be hundreds of boxes. Where had all of these possessions come from? I had arrived in this city, in 1977, owning just a few possessions. They had fit into the boot of a car.
For one whole day, late in the month of September, I watched as the removal truck became packed to the rafters with my life. My belongings, my memories….
I stood at the front door of my home as evening approached, watching the removal tuck back out of my driveway and headed away along the street; watching as my life drove away, fifteen years all neatly sorted and packed away in taped up boxes, knowing it would never be the same again, knowing that I would be leaving also within just a few short hours, seven months pregnant, knowing that tomorrow night I would be a thousand kilometres away from here. I would never live in this home again.
And I cried like I have never cried before, or since. My heart broke that day.
Yet for all of the pain I felt when I knew I must leave my home, I wouldn’t change a thing. I couldn’t change a thing. The good far outweighed the bad, the positive outweighed the negative. To live nine years of contentment and love was definitely worth the sadness of leaving.
Can a building possess you for a period of your life? And when the time has arrived for this building to push you out of the nest, sending you out into the big wide world, never to return to its warm folds again, can it really do this?
And can a geographical location, a city, and the surrounding area hold possession over your heart?
I know it can. For nine years I had been carried along on the tide of my life, a life which was overseen by the home in which I lived. They were happy years, precious years, years that I will always remember vividly and treasure forever.
The time had come to move on, yet after twenty years of being away, this city in which I once lived still holds a piece of my heart. It always will.
“The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before. It always leads me here
Leads me to your door. “ ~ Lennon /McCartney.
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