To us, our house was not unsentient matter -- it had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence, and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction.
"Do you reflect on your life?" The interviewer was very young, perhaps she was twenty-six, and perhaps that was not so very young. As I remember it now I said, "No I don't. With the life still left to me I mostly live it. Maybe a long time ago I did reflect, and consider ... and plan." My house was listening as it did to everything that went on inside its walls and under its roof. That was when I lived in my Mother's house. When I was a woman returned to live in my Mother's house.
The rainy season begins. Pete tracks the weather as he tracks many things. He is a counter and for that I must be very grateful; someone has to keep track of such things.
The change in season has me awake early. Though the light of dawn comes later I still want for the awakening. I lay on my edge of the futon my near-sightedness unimportant. What I see is more clear in the darkness.
"We will have to be more creative now." That comment got an ironic giggle from me. Pete caught the drift. When is it we are not being creative? He was referring to the changes that come from living in tiny spaces when the rain turns things damp and cold and dark. He is right though. When there is more dark, it's the cave-dwellers' sensibilities that appreciate the grace and life Twain writes of in "our house."
This is the year of traveling my personal Route 66. It will continue to be so for another little while. Come the middle of November the route changes and unlike the answer I purported gave the interviewer, I reflect on my life a lot.
I showed up at the garden where Pete has been helping to build a hoop house those growing environments we used to call 'Green Houses.' This one is house size. Size being relative, to me and Pete the 40 feet length of clear plastic sided growing space is large. Living things will be seeded, transplanted and grow in the hoop house. The least of which will be plants. The greater of them will be the children who go to school on this same land. A woman who dreams big dreams dreamt this up. She is very good at fleshing out dreams.
The rain has slowed, but the drops are singularly heavy. The wind is not so much. I remember rain on a roof that had many spaces in it. Pots and pans saved us the inconvenience of stepping in puddles when we got out of bed. Now that I think of it, how lucky the spaces weren't above our bed.
The warm late October temperatures don't need much heat from the electric space heaters. Not like the glass wall heaters in the Gulch that rumbled as they heated my knees at the breakfast bar. Crackled when their veins went cold crumbling like chunky ice. Did they replace the glass I wonder? Does the old heat-a-lator still pump warm into the big room? Does the old place remember us, wonder where we've gone?
The Pineapple Express is riding the Global Jet Stream heading our way. The plump rain is coming from Hawaii-nei carrying with it the turnings, the huli, the movement. Roofs feel the drumming of rain. The walls buck or waltz as the case may be. No walls are the same are they? The sleeping girl, the man with a lunch can filled with hot beef stew. The kitchen remembers the smell of coffee stirred with canned milk and likes the memory of Saloon Pilot Crackers covered with margarine smashed into the hot morning brew.
The writer man got it right. Houses live. They have long memories.