Sometimes I like being home alone with no radio, no TV, no music – just the quiet of the house. The house makes small talk all the time, but mostly to an inattentive audience, so sometimes it's pleasant to take time to stop, notice and soak in all it has to say and the atmosphere. I like it so much because the place doesn’t belong to someone else. Every stud and beam and door and window belongs to us – our names are on the deed and on the mailbox. And it comes with all the sounds and quirks that make it home.
Home. I love the squeak in the bedroom floor just in front of my dresser. I love the sound of footsteps coming up the front porch steps bringing a visitor or package. I love having a doorbell, not a buzzer from the front door three flights down. I love the sound of the heat kicking in and out, cars going by on the street, the birds squawking and clamoring at the feeders by the kitchen window...the sprinklers that come on in the middle of the night...the landscapers mowing and blowing and trimming during the day.
And as the day winds down, there’s the sound of the Robins at dusk. They have a special call that says, “Hurry home. It’ll be dark before long. It’s time to rest.” It brings back my bedtime as a child - In bed, waiting for sleep, to the sound of the Robins at twilight.
Now when I get in bed at night I open the curtains wide so I can see the woods in the darkness and catch glimpses of the stars before I fall asleep. On nights when the moon is full I love the way the moonlight streams through the windows illuminating the woods and our room with an ethereal light. I struggle to stay awake to watch because I can’t bear the thought of missing any of it. Sometimes I sit on the floor in front of the window, my chin on my arms, watching the darkness and listening to the sounds until I can’t stay awake any longer. In the spring the peepers make such wonderful music at night....the sound of the world waking up from its winter sleep. And in late summer I love the constant nighttime calls of the tree frogs keeping track of each other from opposite sides of the woods. “Where are you? I’m here! Where are you? I’m here” It drives some people nuts, but it’s like a symphony to me. It gives me such a peace.
Home. A blessing we assumed had passed us by -it was such a long time coming. I’m thankful for it most when I come back at night after being here or there and find that Don has left the porch light on for me. It's a welcoming committee of one that says “Hurry and come in. We’ve been waiting up for you. We’re all together again. Welcome Home”