The Place that Sustains You

viewA little over a week ago, we sold couches and beds and our ping pong table. We packed our books (so many books) in cardboard boxes and loaded them, along with our furniture and our clothes and our dog Daisy, for a short jaunt from Brookwood Dr. to Warren Lane. For eight years, Brookwood was our place of laughter and chaos, delight and weariness. It was the place where we lived – and I take that word seriously.

Miska asked me what I’d miss most about our house, and the answer was easy. Of course, what I will miss most is the memories attached to this specific place: the slope that ran behind our row of townhouses where the boys and I tossed the football, the pencil marks on the doorframe marking Wyatt and Seth’s rise to manhood and that spectacular view of Carter’s Mountain. I loved those mornings when misty clouds would roll over Carter’s, like a ghost flowing toward the valley. In the evenings, Miska and I would sit on the front porch with cups of tea in hand, watching the blueish-orange light fade over the ridge. “Over the past few years,” I told Miska, “this mountain has sustained me.” I didn’t know the depth of this truth, the gratitude I felt, until I spoke the words.

I am eager for our cottage on Warren Lane, eager for the ways these old bones and the land that surrounds them will, in new ways, sustain me and those I love. However, it seems important to pause, to say thank you. After our old house was empty, we went by one last time to say farewell. I went slowly through each room. I paused, remembering smiles and sorrows and so much hope. I remembered boys who were little, days that are gone now. In our bedroom where Miska and I shared so much, I had tears. I am grateful.

10 responses to The Place that Sustains You

  1. Lovely way to say goodbye to your home. That mountain sounds wonderful. I would miss the sunrises and sunsets here, and fields that stretch like a Maine bay to trees like islands. I am looking forward to seeing pictures of your new place and hearing about your adventures there. Hugs for the weeping, the letting go of this place.

  2. I fell in love with our home on the mountain. It is a place of stored hopes and gentle peace. I have moved over 15 times in the past 40 years. Each home I left I said goodbye with sadness and longing. I can’t imagine all the years you have raised your heart to the sunrise. Blessings to your new home. May you fill each day with laughter and love.

  3. This made me weepy. We are in the process of moving from the old farmhouse my husband grew up in., where my son grew up in his dad’s bedroom. We’ve lived here over 25 years. We’re heading to a new state and whole new lifestyle. Bittersweet.

  4. I don’t have my own place still…or maybe I should say yet…but I’ve moved from and said goodbyes to places I made my home and I know how it feels. Blessings in the leaving and and the new beginning!

  5. We moved from our first home after living there for 38 years. There was nothing special about the house or the area, a little bungalow in ordinary suburb of Ohio. It was sad, because of all the memories we shared there, four children, then grandchildren now old age and letting go. I had wanted to move for 25 years but raising children is expensive…so year after year we stayed another year. We have moved twice since then, the little bungalow has loved two young families since we left. There will always be a place in our hearts for that simple little house that we hold in our memories. Thanks for sharing yours.

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