It’s 6:30 am in Newfoundland, and I’m just now finishing my packing. The car is splitting at her seams, the last bits of our lives shoved into the trunk, spilling over the seats and the floor, and the dog is pacing, wild eyed with worry that I may leave him behind. It’s fitting that my last day here is clouded in gray fog, the thin spines of the trees bent south with wind. I could leave anytime, but I’m wandering in and out of the empty rooms, making another cup of coffee, opening cupboards, checking the peonies in the yard. I’m afraid of forgetting even one detail of this place where my family lived and grew for a year. I resisted calling this place home, refused to hang pictures on the walls, or make any close friends. I figured this was a way to protect my heart, and yet here I am. I have no commitments, nothing tying me here, and still I hesitate, still I grieve. I just noticed some of my daughter’s treasures on the windowsill. Two origami birds, a handful of beach stones, a snag of dying lilac, a leaf of seaweed. I want to leave them, a small offering to the universe, a sign that we were here, that we filled this house, touched these walls, peered through these windows, but I can’t. I fold them in to my suitcase. I will take every bit of this island I can fit in my car. I will do what I can to make sure I remember this place, this house, this home.
I walked through the house with you and saw it all. I’m sad, too. Hope you have a safe trip to your Nebraska home.
These material treasures. They tether us to the intangible.
Love this place
You say it perfectly. Eyes welled up for you!