If you stand in a particular spot on our front porch and strain your eyes through the trees, you will see just a sliver of the ocean. It is the closest to that body of water that I am likely to get from a home ownership perspective and the bonus of living where I do is that in less than a block I can stand and gaze at it to my heart's content or climb down on the rocks, sheltered from the tourists that pass by and write. But the sad truth is since we moved here, I have in no way taken advantage of this proximity. I have taken it for granted, sniffed at its beauty as if it was nothing - too familiar to stop and breathe and appreciate what I have had. Now, with the prospect of moving I know that while it will never be far away - it will not be quite as close as it is now - not close enough to touch, but near enough to feel the power of its breezes, the sweep of seagulls passing by.
There is something about preparing a house for sale that makes you fall in love with it again - the irony that comes with addressing all of the things you couldn't bring yourself to do when it was yours, but will willingly do for a complete stranger. Like pressing a re-start button, every angle of my view has changed, making me nostalgic about our wee magnolia tree in the front yard that began its life so tenuously when we moved in - and now erupts in the most brilliant and delicate white flowers in the spring...the wisteria that has been coaxed into a lush wig for the pergola in our driveway...the view of the foliage from the old trees lining the adjacent street through our front window...the independence of a real house - not a box in the sky smashed up against, above or below someone else's life. I never hoped to dream I would have something so beautiful - and while I know a house does not make a home, this is where my heart is - and I'm trying very hard to make myself believe that I am ready to accept some altered version, some paler version of what I couldn't really see until now.