A Stir of Echoes

Echo – Sound or series of sounds caused by reflection of sound waves from a surface back to the listener.

Stir of Echoes – to venture or depart from one of usual or preferred place.

Sunrise develops into sunset and repeats itself through time,

what goes away comes back again until it has run it’s course,

the time is unknown,

only God, the sum of all things can comprehend,

sometimes the resolution comes in echoes,

that stir nostalgia and remain long after the quiet of grief descends.

Listen and learn,

let these echoes become solidified as memory,

tune into how the world continues to turn,

those echoes are valuable mental property.

It has been a few years since I stood at the top of those stairs, where the desk sits and that mirror hangs on the wall,

reflecting the big window over the door and it has been many years since I climbed and descended those stairs to the den, where the stove glowed in the Winter and we hung our clothes to dry after sledding and where he sat and read his paper or watched the news and where I sat with my friends and my wife near the sliding glass doors,

near all those portraits hanging on the painted walls ,

generations of family standing and watching, silent over those who gathered there,

once and always a family but one now gone their own ways but still heard in their own distinct echoes of the past meeting in the past and present and always listening for the future.

It has been a few years since I came to the top of those stairs and saw the black chair where he used to sit and go through the mail, his white hair contrasted so strongly against the black and shining leather.

It was there that I left him one day at the end of June , high Summer, but I saw Winter in his eyes.

(when I left it began to rain and thunder echoed off the side of the house…)

It has been a few years since I sought to escape out onto the big deck off the kitchen to sit under the shade of all those trees,

accompanied by the memory of him blowing bubbles for Meaghan on a summer day.

Such a contrast to the Thanksgiving when the kids raked leaves and jumped in piles surrounded by air that was only eighteen degrees.

(again the house was warm and we remembered and spoke about our thanks for all the other times the house was that way.)

This was the place everyone wanted to be, friends gathered there, in the comfortable den, with the warmth of the fire, the place we always went to after whatever was happening had ended, always through the side door,

(for years it never locked right.)

There was the room on the side, we pretended that we doing homework, but really spent the time smoking cigarettes, half hanging out the window.

Those creaking boards upstairs – we always knew when he was up and awake, always early, always with his coffee and always planning and guiding towards the future.

Not always seeing eye to eye, but never completely closing the door and always leaving a light on.

Now a new chapter is being written and I wonder if the new ones living there can pick up the threads of words and sentences that we once spoke and somehow weave the strands into the fabric of the lives they will build there.

(all the while we will continue those stories and rhythms and cadence from then until now and on to tomorrow.)

The messages from summer Sundays and graduation days,

from christening days and birthdays and then on to all the holidays that were shared sometimes all together and other times in pieces of the whole,

messages that hung and shined in the reflections of pictures, in faces and captured memories,

along the contours of the walls of the rooms where we grew up and where we told and retold stories and grew daily in reverberation and the return of echoes, stirring the memories and in the continuation of the legacy of our family’s life and times.

The echoes,

stir my heart and bring me joy,

they stir my mind and all these slender threads of memory that sustain and give life to those times that will never go silent no matter who stands at the top of those stairs to notice the changing of the leaves and whose hands a re warmed by the glow of a welcoming fire.

I remember when I was a child, lying on my bed as my mother covered me with the newly laundered blanket, it was as if it floated in the air and then settled down on top of me, such a pleasant memory to fall asleep to,

Later on, after I left the house the fog seemed to hover over the ground the same way the blanket seemed to float in the air,

both scenes were waiting for the sun, to wake the boy, ready for his day, and the grass waiting for the fog to lift and to become dry,

this is how the world moves on and on…

waiting for the life of the sun to shine and reminding us to live in light and not in darkness, just as the echoes remind us that the past has built the present and will guide is to the future.

“I regarded home as the place I left behind in order to come back to it afterward.”

Ernest Hemingway…

12 Cynthia Drive

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