As I was packing Thursday night for our weekend trip to Orcas, I found myself in a familiar, futile thought circle, triggered, in this case, by the fact that yesterday I picked up the key for the guest house we're renting for the next several months.
I had told the owners I was coming around noon, and the fact that I decided late Thursday to take the later boat led me into the swirl: what if they judge me for keeping the heat at a higher level than they would? What if they think I'm using too much water? What if I come and go more than they'd like? and etc. As I have come to do recently, though, I took myself to task and remonstrated: they are NOT doing you a favor, Calin, you are RENTING the place, for the price they asked. You have the right to live as makes you comfortable.
And then, somehow, I realized that it was the act of picking up the key, that was--yes--the key to my struggle. Collecting this key is our first tangible step toward moving out of Seattle.
What? you say. That sturdy, fanciful house isn't tangible? Well, no, not really, not yet. Right now, our dream house is a delight and a frustration--it's gorgeous and we can walk around in it and anyone who has driven by it knows of it when we introduce ourselves (which has been, so far, everyone)--but there are still a billion details to work out, and a couple hundred more nights to sleep elsewhere.
Even though my heart moved on to Orcas last summer, it was still blissfully involved with the beauties and delights that have graced our Seattle home for the 14 years we've been living there together.
I realized as I was packing that we spent our youth in that home. We learned to be ourselves there, together. We learned to mourn. We learned to be goofy. We learned how to disagree with each other, but much more often, we've laughed at ourselves for the coincidence of our impulses and our commentary. We learned to be ecstatic. We learned how to get along with others, and how to recognize when we needed to make our own, sometimes unpopular, choices.
We were children when we met, and now we're adults, and all that growth and learning took place at 3902 Wallingford.
I stood for a long time at the end of the bed Thursday night, my hands resting on my mostly-packed duffle, watching years of experiences pass by in my mind's eye, grieving, laughing (sometimes ruefully), and remembering.
Wallingford, and our snug little house, were exactly the shelter I needed during those callow years.
I am so grateful.
one-fingered on my phone