My Aunt Sheila just built a house in Malpeque, (gorgeous Prince Edward Island) and moved in about a month ago. 5 yera old Leila and I took the chance to go up over her school March break and spend an evening with her cousins. The house is beautiful. Lots of drywall, lots of paint, lots of trim. All the good things that make the completed picture.
Here’s Aunt Sheila’s view (and above, the hungover supermoon at about eight in the morning).
It will have have been just about a year since we moved into our own house, a super reno: which is maybe one reason why I feel so compelled to live the dream all over again.
We got to fantasize, plan, dream, pick cabinets, tile, sinks…into the last exasperating moments where you think closet door knobs, hooks and bronzed drain making no sense may eat you totally alive. I learned that knocking down walls gives you immeasurable freedom. You can see where you couldn’t see before. A totally different view; you let the sun shine where it may never have before.
And all of a sudden you totally get it – that old show you used to watch two years ago where the dude from Texas or Florida or wherever he’s from, drives around in his hummer going from house to house, because he’s working on several gigantic renovations at a time. He’s addicted to the thrill! He’s a contractor and he’s got his own crew! You briefly flirt with the idea – maybe I could get my own crew! Yes, yes, yes!
And then there’s the earthly realization that you’re a teacher and a mother, and that most days your husband wouldn’t trust you alone with a drill. Why does the drywall always crumble like that when I try to screw something in? You wonder. And you figure you may as well leave it to the professionals. (Thank you Ian!)
You were exotic.
You were driven.
You were movement.
You were Balinese stones.
And you loved it.
I guess we humans, we’re always building. Leila and I walked home from school yesterday and a dozen baby birds screeched from a tree top. Just that time of year, I guess.
Leila asked, “Mommy, how do the mommy birds make the nest?”
“One, small branch at a time.” I answered, thinking in my head, painfully small. With mud and spit and a strong wind that blows it away, as soon as it goes in place.
One word at a time will build my pages, one nail at a time will build my playhouse. One conversation at a time will build my journey, and one spirit at a time will build my ghosts. One lesson at a time will build my strength. And if my bridge takes me only to the moon, well, then, i guess that’s okay too.
Here’s to our our branch at a time. What’s yours? Leave your offerings here in the comments, friends.