Revisiting a short piece I wrote a couple of years back, mostly as a reminder to myself that the noisy, dirty, disruptive roadwork currently taking place on our street – and, some days such as today, shaking our house to its very foundations – hasn’t always been there… and is definitely not a permanent fixture.
Funny, but I never really expected it to be this way, ever, when I first knew I’d be moving here. Quiet, I mean. Serene. A relative oasis of calm in the midst of a tightly-packed, long-established city neighbourhood.
Yet so many times, more than I could have imagined, it is.
Our houses are within arm’s reach of each other. A narrow laneway separates one backyard from the next. Unlike the larger lots of suburbia, there’s not a whole lot of either space or privacy here in this close-to-downtown neck of the urban woods.
But there are times – hours at a time – when the not-so-distant noises of the city, the cars, the neighbours are muffled into insignificant background by a melodious cacophony of insistent birdsong… by the scampering pitter-pat of tiny squirrel feet chasing each other in play across the roof tiles… by the calmative bubbling splashes of an outdoor fountain. Times when a soft breeze ruffles the leaves of the tall trees… captures and disperses the heady fragrance of the lilac bushes… composes a tinkling harmony with our neighbour’s collection of wind chimes. Times when the aroma of cut grass and even the mechanical purr of a lawnmower a few houses away elicits sweet memories of summer days, barbecues, laughter with friends.
This is home.
This is MY home.
(Originally posted in May, 2012.)