I sat on the front porch in the rocking chair, alone for just a few moments while Josue and his parents went inside to get tea and banana bread. It was dark outside, and air was crisp and cool, promising the arrival of fall. As I glanced behind me through the large bay window into our warmly lit home, a parade of memories danced across my mind.
I looked at the table in the window and admired the array of houseplants that have managed to survive my general neglect. Just beyond the table, I could see our wedding photographs on the wall, and below them, our newly acquired piano. Just beyond the piano sits our much-loved (some might say beat-up) faux leather couch that we bought second-hand soon after moving back to the States. And by that, the doorway into the kitchen where our table sits below a large map of the world.
Each one of those seemingly commonplace items, hold so much meaning for me.
Like the couch…while it is no longer attractive, it is beautiful to me. When I look at it, I remember the many nights I spent alone there praying for our immigration paperwork to be complete so Josue could come home. I remember sitting on that couch the day we came home from the hospital, holding my newborn baby girl and staring at her sweet face for hours on end. I remember the many books we’ve read to Elise there, and the first time I read I’ll love you forever to her and cried like a baby.
When I look at the floor below the couch, I can see Josue sitting with Elise building lego towers and crawling around the floor with her on his back playing horsey, as they do so many evenings.
I look into our home and see the hours of work we have put into it making it our own, and the memories we have made here. But I also imagine what it might look like in months to come. There will be more children snuggling on the couch for stories and surrounding our kitchen table for meals. There will be more chaos, more dirty laundry, more giggles, more tears and even more love.
It has been three years this week since we bought this house, and I couldn’t feel more blessed. It isn’t often I slow down enough to look into my life from the outside, but when I do I am overwhelmed with gratitude to get to live this beautiful, undeserved life. It is far from perfect, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
all photos by Sweet Root Village