Walking this morning over a course I have taken many times before, I noticed amid ranch and two-story houses, a cream-city brick house that was startlingly out of place. Sitting high on a hill, overlooking a now, house-dense neighborhood, was a quiet house of yesteryear. She seemed to be in solitary, sleepy repose as the world moved quickly on. She seemed content to be the matron of the neighborhood, content to let the younger generation, the grander and more fashionable homes, share her once barren hills.
But, what if this house could tell me her story, what would she say? What would she have seen over the years? Did she feel sadness or joy as men broke ground for newer construction? Did she smile when those new homes were filled with young families whose children’s laughter filled the air? Did she whisper with the wind at their funny antics? Did she invite those playmates in during a stormy day? Did she protectively watch as they played on the tire swing that hung from the maple tree out front? Did she listen to them read their stories on the wicker chair on the front porch? Did she wonder where the years flew as the saplings grew tall and strong and broad? Did she cry as the grown-up boys marched proudly off to war? Did her windows wear a blue- or gold-starred service flag? Did the Stars and Stripes decorate her front porch rail in anticipation of their homecoming? Did she mourn the flag-blanketed coffin?
Is she now content, old and fading? Content with her crackling paint and crumbling mortar? Content with her memories? Content with the trees surrounding her? What if this house could tell me her story? I wonder what she would say?
©B. Donaldson, 2018. All rights reserved