I hit the Unemployed/Living Situation jackpot. Seriously. For the last six months, I have lived with Joe and his four roommates in “the big, white house on the corner”. I kick in money for utilities and contribute my dashing conversation skills and impeccable taste in television programming.
But honestly, we’re all lucky that the house lets us live in it.
Aside from the behemoth, top of the line, housing specimen that my brother lived in his Senior year of college, this house is the rental that everyone should have the opportunity to live in. It makes Do-It-Yourself seem like a really cool adventure. And its PORCHES (plural) actually plead for grilling and keg beer. In the story of my Right Now, this house is its own character.
So while the job clock has ticked over the last few months, I have waited (sometimes not at all patiently) for a parentheses of time when the air would be warm and the humidity manageable enough to allow the ingredients of Spring to seep into the rooms without causing suffocation. When it happens, I will have a coming-of-age party for both me and the house.
Thankfully, those days are starting to appear and last night we went to bed with the windows open.
This morning, I woke up sometime between the darkest part of the night and the first rays of sunlight. As I walked down the hallway, my feet scuffed across the hardwood floor and I noticed the blue haze that adheres to everything during this time of morning. My hair had taken on the dewy, damp feeling of a summer day on the lake, while my pajamas were twisted, sticking to my skin at asymmetrical angles.
Other than the rain and the padding of my own feet, everything was silent. I felt like the only person in the world who was awake, yet at the same time sensed that the house heaved with vitality. My life had become one of the moments that I read about and adore. It was like a passage out of a Pat Conroy book when he describes the exact moment that the environment clasped around the protagonist and swirled the character’s life forward.
The best description that I can come up with is to say that I felt held in my mind, body and spirit.
This probably seems like a lot to be aware of at approximately 5.30 in the morning. And I would agree if when I smelled the freshness of the early morning moisture, I hadn’t been reintroduced to a memory of a camp in Maine where I spent several summers. Over the course of those seasons, I often woke early, startled by the sound of a cabin door slamming shut as a camper headed to the bathroom or a cook moved towards the kitchen. And at each premature waking, I would feel the cool, dampness on my skin and in my hair. Taking a deep breath, I would be thankful for the amplified smell of the woods, the heft of the wool blankets pressing against my body and the remaining minutes to enjoy it all. Those were perfect moments. They were flickers of something serene and fulfilling.
And this morning as I walked down the hall, I registered the singular components of the experience because they reflected those pre-dawn, almost-forgotten Maine mornings. I crawled back in bed to lie with the delicate memory, but also to consider the fullness of where I am now and how the story is developing.