Ellie Searl Stories

12/15/2011

THE STORIES THEY HOLD

THEME: HOME
I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. ~ Maya Angelou

I’ve never liked to rise earlier than the sun, but lately I’ve savored the first hours of each day.  While I wait for a crack in the almost-morning sky, I imagine the treasures of my home.  Memory treasures.  Treasures our family has gathered through the years.  Chairs and tables, vases and pictures.  Sculptures and coats, lap throws and newspapers.  All of these in a comforting disarray of living.  We fill the rooms of our lives with love and bustle and happiness.  My home is alive with the stories written by the people who matter most to me.
 In the quiet of dawn, I absorb the sweetness of home, surrounded by the adventures of family, togetherness, and time, and I can play the stories over and over again. Across the room, on an unfolded afghan, lies last Sunday’s jointly completed New York Times puns and anagrams. Beside it is the broken-spined dictionary that ended one of our word scuffles. I laugh at my competitiveness, and vow to share next time. My coffee cup rests on the old blanket chest we bought so many years ago on a trip through the Canadian Rockies, the day we celebrated Katie’s eighth birthday around a pine forest campfire in Banff National Park. We made s’mores with leathery marshmallows, and her favorite present was a ballpoint pen with a floating canoe in the top. 
I sit on the couch that reminds me of endless walks through city department stores and furniture shops looking for just the right one with lots of pillows and a high snuggle factor.  The living room walls hold miniature seasonal photographs taken by Ed during a year’s worth of daily bike rides.  In one picture, the mist hovers over newly budded trees beside a still river, and the pebbles reflect upside down in the smooth, flooded banks of the park. I had biked with him that day, and we drank hot coffee with our gloves on because of the early spring chill.
I look at the old upright piano that we bought for $50 when we had so little to spare.  I can’t bring myself to give the piano away, even though I’ve promised to at least a hundred times.  Too many piano lessons and too many hours stripping off the black stain to uncover the gleaming mahogany keep my piano cemented in my house of stories.
The sun streams into the room and makes lacy patterns on the floor.  I remember that today is beginning, and I feel the surge of newness—the possibilities of creating.  I’ll take the blessings of my home with me as I go through the day.  And later, in the evening, I’ll watch the sun set on new memories captured by the spirit of home.
EVS – 12/11

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