10 years later

10 years later

Today is everywhere rain, and the snow is lifting fog up into the sky like hands thrown up in frustration or submission: I give up trying to be winter.

I felt the rain all day like some sort of permission. Let’s not do. Let’s stay put. This is the generosity of bad weather on a day off (if you’re lucky enough to have a choice in the matter): permission to read a book, stare out the window, make mental lists without lifting a flesh-and-blood finger, let your mind wander into the foggy past.

Ten years ago today there was a blizzard. I remember this because it was during that blizzard, the first of the winter, in fact, that we were shuttling all of our worldly goods from the shipping containers on the driveway back into this house. This house that we slid down the hill.

Ten years ago this house was like an old friend who’d had minor plastic surgery. Familiar and yet… something not quite familiar.

Ten years ago, this house felt lightly perched on its new foundation. Old bones tentative about its new seat. Untethered somehow.

Ten years later, we are emphatically settled. The house has given up its polite perch on the edge of the chair and settled, groaning slightly, into a comfortable slouch. Us, too, I suppose. We’re as stuck here as I’ve ever been anywhere before. Rooted.

I have plans to see friends tonight, but everything in me is crying to stay put and listen to the rain, watch the dog’s paws twitch in his dreams, dig my roots in even further.

But it doesn’t matter how much we dig in, does it? The world spins on. These posts and beams have been this house’s bones for more than 200 years, and standing as trees for at least a hundred more. It’s watched all of Vermont history pass by. Nothing stays.

Ten years from now? H will be out in the world. I suppose we’ll be here, thinking back thirty years to the day we first peered in the windows of this endearing old wreck of a place and said, “Yes, this is home.”