Light and Love
– George Maynard, III (Trey)
Noted today on Facebook, a friend of mine moving. Pictures of a house – empty, floors bare and sleek as a baby’s bottom without a diaper and cupboards and closets bereft of the pots and pans and clothes and games and junk drawers and doodle pads and old Southern Living magazines and pet hair and clocks that tick, tick, tick, tick away precious, fleeting time.
Those clocks that make the seconds that make the minutes that make the hours that make the days that make the memories of our lives. The houses that make the homes that hold those memories. Oh! My Grandmother Honeycutt’s house was huge, I remember! Places to hide with (and from!) my cousins playing hide and seek, an expansive lawn on which to turn flips and cartwheels (yes, I can STILL do both!) and extravagant, heaping, warm platters of homemade biscuits, red-eye gravy, collard greens with vinegar and chicken fried in Crisco and flour in seasoned black iron skillets – except it wasn’t. Huge, that is. Huge in the square footage style anyway – but huge in my memory. Clapboard, white and small. When I drive by it now, I wonder how it can possibly contain the extraordinary memories that I can feel, smell and still long for.
My first home as an adult was a place filled with the makings of bridal showers – gifts of best wishes and gratefully received by needy, innocent, unconscious young people. Small, gray and concrete block. It passed into the shadows of yesterday and remains a place where I remember planting marigolds in dire hopes of cheering it up and watching them rise crooked and unsteady in a brilliant cautionary yellow line, YELLING “Best for you both if you leave this relationship now.” Which was not heeded until more than a couple of decades later.
Many, many years later, long after my marigolds were gone and Honey and I were together, we built this house with great thoughtfulness, sticking love notes and a poem for every room on the framework before the sheetrock went up, placing our own best wishes on plywood before the hard wood floors were laid, saving Gracie – the tulip tree – from being rudely chopped down by one of the workers who thought she was not beautiful (She is), and having the house ceremoniously and quite spiritually blessed.
One day, this house, too, will become a dreamy, outrageous memory – the parties and laughs with our friends, the daffodils (Did we really plant so many? Oh! They just multiplied!). I thought the house was so much bigger, we will muse. Do you think we could knock on the front door and ask to see Faith, the maple, we planted in the backyard? And, by the way, we saved Gracie, the tulip tree, for you. Do you remember the night, we will query each other, the time our friend played the guitar on the back porch or when Roberto, our Italian chef friend, cooked for us? And all the nights we chased fireflies and Finlay, the Westie, around and around the yard throwing balls and playing go fetch. Remember, he was such a great puppy! Oh, us, too! We were such young sprouts! 🙂
Whomever comes next, whenever, surely will build on this beautiful karma of those who were here before. Our homes are our homes only temporarily. Because life is and will, one day, move us on, move us on.
Best of luck, my friend, moving on.
In due time, we shall all join you.