Butterfly wings helped her fly as she jumped out of the pink conversion van. The air carried her lithe frame as she floated; her hair, loosely bound by ribbons glimmering in the sunlight giving off a rainbow effect to my eyes. Six years old was a time of pleasure, simplicity and trust. She burst through the old barn doors to find her grandpa crouched over a small wooden fence tending to 18 baby chicks. “Annie! My Annie! Here, gentle now.” His strong hands were cupped as he handed her the black and yellow chick delicately. I watched as her eyes widened and fell soft, she was a mother. There were a handful of eggs that had yet to hatch; they were under a bright, warm light that caused my eyes to fever. The warm sun outside was peeking through the cracks in the old handmade barn. The shards of light laid on her grandpa’s glistening forehead creating a halo effect. She looked up towards him “grandpa, he’s mine…this one, he’s mine”, he smiled and gave her the world. They walked hand in hand alongside the corn stalks and green beans as they made their way to the garage to clean up. Her heart was as soft as the baby chicks fur on her tiny hands.
Months after writing the piece above, Matt and I were having a conversation about the bittersweet-ness of leaving Rochester. We have grown to love this city and the people that we have met here. Once leaving, we may not have a reason to ever return, sadly. Our lives have changed beyond measure during our two and half year stay.
I have a habit of putting myself in future hypothetical situations (that have a tendency to end poorly).
Except this time, it was a forward projection of a nostalgic past, a much more pleasant way to spend brain energy!
The experiences that have added depth and quality to our time here aren’t tangible. We can’t physically go visit or sit down on the lawn of a park and gather the full effect. The yearning that I anticipate will be that of the growth we have experienced as a family, the milestones that Noah has reached in our tiny house, the hi-fives he has given to the little old man at the grocery store, the love that Matt and I have developed for each other, and the giant hole that Noah has filled in my heart. I already long for the familiarity of a routine that hasn’t even ended.
Hiraeth is a gift, it means we have lived well.
How have you experienced Hiraeth in your life?
We have been really great at procrastinating our work for moving (i.e. packing) but we have finally started to compile a list of lullabies and misc songs for the CD we are going to record for the kids. It’s one of the things I want to accomplish before baby #2 arrives late this fall! Packing can wait :)