What I will miss
I look around my house. What should I take with me? What should I leave? Suppose I don't see my house again, what will I need? What will I miss?
When I return after a long absence, I rejoice in the warmth of my well-insulated house. Coming home means walking barefoot on the parquet wooden floor and hearing the clicks until I reach the kitchen in the back. Surrounded three sides by double-glazed glass, the kitchen is a warm conservatory even in winter. I will miss this compact kitchen.
Stepping outside, I see the flowers I planted the previous week. Red, orange, pink, and purple, they line the raised flower beds. Why have I not taken care of this garden earlier? There is so much joy in staring at these creatures of nature. I will miss lying in my hammock, staring at my plants, hearing the rustle of the tree leaves and the birds jossling for elderberries.
Upstairs, I see myself in every room. I will miss my mirrors. They make the house feel bigger than it is and reflect light from different directions. I have never felt alone in my house when I see my body from different angles.
The house feels like a hotel now that I have decluttered sufficiently. In the loft are all my personal belongings. Will I miss the framed photographs of my family and friends? Will I miss the textbooks I am still reluctant to part with? Will I miss that private space in the pinnacle of my house?
A neighbour rings the doorbell slowly. Here is a neighbourhood where I know everyone I see. Neighbours often stop by when they hear me play the piano through the open windows. They visit when they see me pass by their house. I feel free to knock on their doors to borrow a screwdriver or seek advice. They invite me for traditional English afternoon tea. I will miss my friendly neighbours who have come to my home concerts and invited me to drop in anytime.
What I miss most are those that I can't take with me.
29 August 2004 Sunday