We have sold our big old 1883 Victorian Farmhouse in Missouri. Nostalgia washes over me even as I write that. What a wonderful and magical season we had there. Nine years. I love the big, open rooms with the wide gracious halls. I love the two staircases, the porches, the views, the Missouri farmland with its line of trees like green billows covering hills, the wind sweeping over hayfields like waves of an inland ocean, the line of stalwart Sycamores marching up the driveway.
This is the place my children spent the last years of their childhood. My oldest was married on its steps on a perfect October day. Christmases seemed like something out of a Dickens novel--not the sadness and the social injustice, but the lights across the way where our neighbor's lovely house (built in 1893) stood out like a castle in France, and our own Christmas tree filled the window bay with twinkling joy. Even the drafty old windows we remember with affection, and laugh at how on cold winter nights, the icicles on the tree would blow in the breeze.
Recently I chatted with a friend. "You're putting down roots, here, then?" she asked, and I realized that yes, yes we are. We're sowing ourselves into this place completely and fully, for as long as that may be.
I never thought we'd be moving from Missouri after 23 years, but again, I cannot see the future. All I know is that I am very glad to be here in Northern California, and that though I love the old house in Missouri, I would not trade it for what my life is now. It would not bring back my children's childhood, and though part of me is grieving for the season that now is past, I am not content to look backward, as if my best and dearest days are behind me.
Even now, in the quiet before the day begins, I catch the scent of this year's Christmas tree, and pondering the possibilities of the coming days and weeks, I know that the past, precious though it is, is past. The future is yet to be. But here, now, today--I live.
I treasure those things that have passed into the realm of memory. But I don't want to be stuck there. I want to keep adding daily to the treasures of life, and living now the season I will look back on with the same fondness I now feel for our time in the big house.