After time the place we call home can become an almost organic part of our own physical body. We become familiar to a place like we become familiar to our own bodies, acutely accustomed to its unique personality and over time becoming one with even the sounds at night. The creeks and bumps become like our own heart beat. Home may be a sanctuary or a prison or subconsciously both, but it’s within us, part of us and we live inside of each other.
The place we call home is like the people in our lives. Ultimately no matter the depth of the relationship we’re still detached in true physical form, designed to move away from each other at any moment agreeable or not so. What we know to be true today just might not be true tomorrow regardless of our attachments or desires.
When I first moved to this nearly 7 acre piece of land I was overcome by its vastness. Living in Seattle my whole life, my eyes were accustomed to things at close range. I remember my first week here I couldn't see as far as the property line, it seemed so incredibly far away. At night the orchestra of sound was so new, so immense and foreign. I felt like a small tiny creature at the mercy of fate and dreams and fantasy, so pure so wondrous. Sometimes there were sounds at night that made my heart beat hard with fear. Unfamiliar with nature, I couldn’t define when night sounds were the natural settling of the house, the trees bending and giving in to wind or a dark creature or trespasser with ill intentions. The winter I spent mostly alone here changed me and forced me to address my fears and face the darkness with admiration and respect.
After 6 years my eyes have adjusted and the scope of my vision and senses expanded. Now the fence line seems close and beautifully comfortable but at the same time limiting. The sounds I hear now are enmeshed with the pulsing and currents of my own brain and blood. There is a familiarity and a comfort so ingrained within my life. I know all the trees on this land and have a special appreciation of their position on this peak. I can thankfully say I’ve never not recognized with stunning awe the sunrises or sunsets which are prominent features of this particular property.
Leaving this place I’ve become so familiar with is like being gently pulled away from a good friend to live a very long way away. The new place I’m going to may indeed be better for me on many different levels. I know this old place will always be a part of me and part of who I am, and even though I’m not really moving that far away the reality is I may never see it again. I think I should be sadder than I am, but the possibilities of my new world ahead are like the lust of new lover which transforms memories and emotions of the last to reduced proportions. So it’s easy to leave. Selfish indulgence of more life to be lived, more sounds to learn, more trees to become familiar with and a future of possibilities. I know I’ll feel my heart beating hard with fear at times, and it will take time for me to become familiar with the new land and its 400 acres of terrain.
As I pack the last boxes and get ready for the last time I’ll drive down the long cedar tree-lined driveway, I thank this place for being my sanctuary and at times my prison, but ultimately I thank this place for being so good to me and teaching me so much.