My Place


I fell in love with the place as soon as I saw it.
It just felt like home, as if a thousand loaves of
bread had been baked in the kitchen, for the
smell of something good and fresh lingered in
there,  just under the mildew smell. In the
bedroom I could hear the echoes of dreams, like
the refrain of a favorite song, the notes sweet
and clear, but low and distant. The hallway
spoke of long nights with many trips to the
kitchen for a glass of water, and I could almost
sense the presence of an old woman, standing
on sturdy, veined legs with her feet stuffed into
comfortable, warm slippers. I caught the shadow
of her gazing out the window over the stove,
watching moonlight play on the river.

A strong home. A home to pass those last precious
years of independence before moving into a grown
son or daughter's spare room, or into the false cheerfulness
of a nursing home.

I wandered the room, peeked into the closets, smelled the
ghosts of sachet--something purple and proper with a whimsical
name--saw the dust-molded outline of hangers on the rack. I stood
in front of the mirror and saw not my own chestnut hair threaded with
gray, but a whole head of blue-tinted white. She looked into my
eyes and I saw strength there, peace with herself and the world she
lived in.

In the living room I caught the rich, loamy smell of potting soil and
felt the energy of potted plants, maybe African Violets, and probably
a philodendron with heart-shaped leaves. Standing in front of the
fireplace, I could see little holes where stockings hand been hung
from the mantel.

I knew I could live here. I could forge a new life for myself within
these walls. I knew I could laugh and cry, hope and dream here.

And so I have.

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