I love our new house. We both feel so at home here. Before moving in, the thought of our own front door and internal stairway made me smile. Then, we moved in and I realised what actually makes me giddy: a back door. For 6 years I have been living without a back door and although the thought scared me at first, I got used to it. I even forgot about having back doors.
Realising how much more relaxed I am with a private escape outside and easy wander into the garden at the new house, I now know that a back door rates pretty highly on my list of important luxuries. I love being able to just leave the door open if it is warm enough, to feel as though we are not trapped in a box (can you tell I always took a while to adjust to the indoors after a summer spent in a tent?) and can at any moment be outside without the hassle of running down flights of stairs. To be on grass without having to pack my keys and hike across town. Yes, this house makes us feel very much at home.
In a way, we have inherited this house from friends. Soon after they moved out, we discovered that we would need to look for a new place. We called their old landlords right away. Before moving in, I could picture the rooms, the back yard and the neighbourhood and knew that I would feel safe there. When we came to view it, it was strange to see it so empty and devoid of my friends’ stuff. Then I remembered how much more space for life and creativity they have in their new home with three beautiful children. As soon as we brought in our own stuff* (*most things were actually donated from friends and family but more on that in a later post), it seemed as though we had been here for a long time.
After two days here, I stood at the sink to wash dishes and looked out into the garden and had the thought ‘It’s good to be back home’. I checked myself and questioned whether I meant back at my friends’ home. Until that question I hadn’t thought of it as their place at all. I looked around and thought that it just looked and felt like we had lived here for quite awhile and felt calm and true and like we have finally returned to where we should have been. Perhaps some of this has to do with my pleasure from living back near the river again after 6 months in the centre of the city, but I think it is more than that and I look forward to seeing our lives unfold here.
As we settle in and continue to unpack (read ‘finding places for all our books, clothing and craft supplies’) we are establishing new rhythms. One of my favourites so far, is when I waltz through the door and we polka out back to check out what Honey was working on earlier, continue a two-person job, or just to admire the plants as our eyes attune to new pleasures. This finds us outside at 10:30pm continuing to weed, pot up plants, or look for beneficial insects when we suddenly realise the sky is getting a bit dark…so we reluctantly shuffle inside. Whenever I am in the kitchen, I find the urge to pop out back for a few moments too hard to resist. Who knows what might be going on with our strawberries, foxgloves, marigolds, carrots, sweet peas, cabbage, radishes, etcetera, unless I check?
In the mornings before work, I need to carefully manage this curiosity and remember to return almost immediately. After work or on the weekends, however, I forget to remember to return to the house and get lost in concentrated and earnest, yet accidental, gardening…