Thursday, October 26, 2006

Taking Out The Trash

In my family, I am the one who rolls the trash can to the curb on Thursday mornings.

Do you think I mind? No, not on sultry, never-did-cool-down mornings or even the snow-heavy, ice-blowing ones, because --always--something happens when I turn back toward our house with its lamps glowing gold at the windows.

Always, home memories fall upon me like fairy dust.

There's just something about those windows. I stand there before the house, there with my long coat thrown over my robe, and I hesitate to move lest I shake those sparkling memories and they fall too soon from me.

No, I don't mind taking out the trash because remembering happens when I turn back toward the house. It's those windows, I think, which do it... act like eyes to my memory and remind me of mornings so sunny, the light came streaming inside and made all our furniture look new... and as though I'd planned all along to have it blend together like magic.

It's the windows which remind me of times my family laughed together and were so one in spirit that the harmony was tangible and sweet and lasted for days... and we smiled instead of argued and didn't need words to convey that this home, for these days at least, contained a peace no one wanted to wreck.

And it comes to me that the shelves and shelves of books waiting inside, ones I only dreamed of having 15 years ago, books which are no longer a far-off dream, are sitting like other worlds there behind glass...

... and I remember the company-- families, couples-- unhurried around our dining room table, sharing meals and thoughts and compliments...

... and times I, home alone, played Big Band music to fill the house and pretended it was the 1930's, dusting the oak stair railing in my apron, or sitting and reading 1920's cookbooks and issues of Good Housekeeping when bolero jackets were all the rage...

... or sat on the front porch wicker chair on October afternoons watching leaves deepen to red, then dance while falling... and feeling the pulse of God in my heart and throat until I could barely breathe...

You know, memories like those--they are the ones which swirl all together in that fairy dust.

Did we only have good times here inside this house these thirteen years? Of course not.

But the good memories--the best and sweetest and warmest ones--those are the moments which rain down upon me when I take out the trash on Thursday mornings like this one.

It's only the good memories I see dancing in our lighted windows when I turn back toward our house, all while my neighborhood sleeps.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things..." Philippians 4:8

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