I’ve returned from two nights staying at ‘home,’ the house I grew up in, where my mum still lives and the heart of my family beats. It’s filled me, as it always does, with nostalgia for days long gone and prompted me to look up an old post I wrote three years ago. I’ve polished it up a little and here it is. I feel today exactly as I did when I first wrote it.
I am in my old home, the house in which I was reared, the place where I first knew love, and where at times I first hated with all my heart, my brothers who drove me wild, but whom I now love dearly.
It is after midnight and everyone is in bed. My own children tucked up in the rooms I once “owned”. If this house could speak,
what tales it would tell. Above me is a crack on the ceiling, which my mum says was caused by the visit of my Carlow cousins,
and the jumping off the bed game we enjoyed that day.
I’m alone in the room we call the sitting room, others may call it a family room, sitting by the window. A window sill runs the length of the large window. It’s made of a dark, polished wood, wide enough for us to sit on. It’s the same wood used on the shelves next to the fireplace which hold numerous photos, telling their own story of the past.
The shelves and window sill tell a less obvious story.
Many years ago when my Dad was alive and in full health he traveled to Norway for work. While there his job was to inspect trawlers
which were being purpose built. Our house was a work in progress back then, the sitting room a shell yet to become a much used room. On arriving home my Dad was very excited, as he told my mum he had sourced a beautiful wood for the shelves and window sill in our sitting room.
This was a different time, where shops selling ready made furniture were not too plentiful and different types of wood available were limited. My mum was delighted, not so much about the wood, but the fact that my Dad was to begin work on the sitting room. They just had to wait for the wood to be delivered.
Weeks later the doorbell rang, the wood had arrived. Picture the scene, my mum answering the door expecting flat pack wood from Norway. In it’s place she sees a truck containing the wood in it’s purest form, three enormous tree trunks. They barely fitted in the driveway.
It was of course no news to my dad who was expecting it. He sent it off to the boatyard where the resultant wood was transformed,
into their current form, shelves and a window sill that have stood the test of time.
It is at times such as this, surrounded by memories, that I become consumed by the past.
Despite a turbulent life, my time in this house was a truly happy one. I will be here a few more days, and with every moment I will breathe in that past.
The kitchen where life really happened, the hub of our home. The sitting room where we fought over the television and ate family Sunday dinners together as well as enjoying many a Christmas and party. Later tonight I will climb the stairs to my old bedroom, the room where I dreamed of the future I now live in.
Some day down the road my own children will hopefully return to their own home, perhaps with their partners and children. When they do I hope they too can sit a while, look around and perhaps remember the crack in the door, the scratches on the floor, the fires lit in the fireplace and hopefully, just as I’ve done, remember the days where they felt loved for the first time.