photo©Andrew Dunn


It’s done, the decision taken, the papers signed. The house, our house, the house where our children grew and threw their first adolescent tantrums, cried their first love-sick tears, crept in at dawn, were carried in by friends at dawn, is sold. The buyers love it, as we did, at first sight, but they are older than we are now, have no young brood to place in its warren of rooms. They will keep what we did of the old house, the original windows and doors, the floors and the moulded ceilings. They will keep the garden with its roses and wisteria, the summer flame of Jericho trumpets, the spring purple haze of wisteria, the overarching vine that is as old as the house. For that I am grateful.

But the parting will be difficult and scattered with regrets, as fierce as the fallen fiery trumpet flowers brought down in yesterday’s storm.


Storm batters the vines

cold steel through pliant green leaf—

sun shines on spent blooms.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

27 thoughts on “Leaving”

  1. precious Haibun Jane, leaving something behind is always bitter sweet, I love how you described the house as a place to be safe and also a place that now no longer provides for a family that has evolved. lovely.

    1. Thanks Gina 🙂 There’s a lot of truth in what you say. A house is a place we borrow for a while. It was there long before we were born, and will be there for generations after we are dead. It’s a big family house and meant to be full of young people. Unless we could hang on until we get some grandchildren, which isn’t going to be any time soon, we’re just wasting this space.

    1. It’s so hard, isn’t it? Shaking hands with the new people outside the notaire’s office I felt like crying. Husband was the same. Ah well, a page is turning and we’re off to something completely different 🙂

  2. You capture the sorrow of saying goodbye to a treasured place so well. I felt glad, on their behalf, that the new owners would keep it the same. It’s easier to leave that way, I think.

      1. It helps to soften the blow, relinquishing ownership. I don’t really think anyone can ‘own’ a house any more than they can ‘own’ a view or another living thing.

  3. When you walk out of the door for the last time the house will sigh and the dust of your memories will settle to become part of the fabric of the place the new owners open the door on.

  4. That’s sad to hear about. We always have such connection with places, almost as same as people. I feel nostalgic and sad about even a restaurant which I visited just couple of times when I leave town.

  5. Ah, you’ve captured it so well, the feeling of leaving a much-loved home. I still miss our house in Australia – we were there for seven years, the longest I’ve ever lived in one house, and it took a long time to say my goodbyes. In some ways I’m still saying them.

    Good luck with your move, I hope your new place is full of stories and flowers 🙂

  6. I’m sorry, Jane. I know you’ll miss the place you called home for so long. Life never stays the same no matter how much we wish it would.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s