When I was a child, my peers must have thought that I lived in a castle from the way I described my home. It was made of white siding and green shingles. I ran four stairs up to the kitchen, and ten stairs down if I wanted to play in the basement. My blue eyes faded to grey and then to hazel. I got taller, my hair got shorter (then longer), but the house remained the same. The pine trees stretched out for as far as I could see, and I’d often daydream looking through the blinds in my room. They still hang there – the creamy sashes connecting white slats of wood. There was a special kind of way that the sun filtered through the leaves and entered my room. The shadows danced upon the walls that were light pink, then sage green. These were the same walls where I made accidental scuffs and put one too many decorations.
The seasons passed, yet it seemed that winter was always brighter because of the snow. The squirrels and sparrows made imprints as they walked, and I followed suit when I’d crash and smash around in my puffy dark blue coat under skies that varied from a muted haze to bright blue. I’d run into the house, and it would embrace me with warmth and shelter from the bitter cold. In summers, I would curl up with sketchbooks and hatboxes filled with art supplies away from the humid afternoons in the room to the southwest with one large window. I’d stare at the ceiling fan as it made its rounds and tried on numerous occasions to focus on one blade. It almost worked once.
Above my room was the unfinished attic. For many years, the attic used to be the kind of you read about in a storybook. It was wooden and the floors creaked quietly, groaning in place from when they were first installed in 1927. There were suitcases and antique cabinets scattered amidst storage items. Through hard work, it developed into another livable level, but I often think of the times I spent up there hiding amidst cobwebs and fine china. Today, it seems worlds away.
At night, the driveway gives the perfect vantage point for Polaris. Standing next to this home was when I fell in love with the night sky. Back inside, my Dad showed me a closer look for the first time through his telescope. It doesn’t boast an impressively clear view given all the streetlights and industrial zones that are within a few miles of it, but it inspired enough wonder to never stop looking upwards. Mom would often call out from another room when fireworks were visible, but stars were always the most interesting thing that hung above the green roof.
This home is a familiar friend. It is humble and doesn’t like when things try to change it. It isn’t extravagant by any means, and it is filled with meaningful objects. It’s where everything began, and where a good part of my thoughts roam at any point during the day. To some it’s just a small lower-middle class home; to me, it’s still a castle.
19 February 2019