We can’t move for boxes now. I’ve packed up most of the kitchen utensils so I don’t know how we’re going to eat over the next few days. Still washing clothes, towels and bad linen and hoping it will all be dry enough to pack.
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.
One of the things that is making decluttering this house so difficult is that whenever we try to get rid of a really ugly piece of furniture we’ve always hated, somebody decides to take up residence in it.
There is a tree on a hill of yellow gorse,
Where skylarks sing, above the wild grey sea,
That I left long ago when the seed was in the ground,
And I thought if I had wings I could be free.
They said, you cannot live on a hill of yellow gorse,
That the skylarks sing the same in any field,
That life is lived in lights and the glitter of the night,
And silence kills the spirit if you yield.
But I hear it in my heart above the traffic’s roar,
The lapping of the waves upon the strand.
The wind sighs in a tree on a hill of yellow gorse,
And the bones sing in the deep depths of the land.
Stronger than the ties of a lifetime wrought of habit,
Than the cords I wove of silver and of gold,
Is the fluttering of feathers and the wind’s voice in the rushes,
Calling back my heart before I grow too old.