Several weeks ago I watched as a contractor tore down an old house.
The deconstruction was fast and nearly brutal in its ability to wipe away any semblance of what once had been someone’s home.
I had no particular affinity to the old house; never had visited anyone there and didn’t even know its previous owner but the finality of its ceasing to exist was palpable.
Over the last several weeks I have watched as the newly cleared gap received delivery after delivery of raw materials.
A small crew worked to prepare the foundation and the gap was now a place again.
A frame was built and the intimation of a structure became evident.
Each day I’d walk past and stop to take in the latest development; I found myself cheering the soon-to-be house as if it were a developing creature. I was delighted to see each growth spurt and curious about each lull.
More materials arrived and something magical happened…
From what was once a pile of wood , a house appeared!
There were walls and openings for windows and doors, rooms were evident, a peaked roof sat atop it all; though unpainted, it was clearly a house now.
Today I sat there and realized that while the next steps of adding the finishing touches to the structure would soon be done, there was a greater magic which would transform it.
Sometime soon, this pile of wood turned structure turned house would become a home.
It would become a focal point for a person, or most likely, a family.
It would be imbued with a presence, an identity, which could bring a smile to a person’s face as they saw it and said “my home”, perhaps even their first home.
My sadness at seeing the demolition of that old place took on a different perspective – I saw a house, a structure, being torn down, not a home.
I do hope that the old home still stands in someone’s heart, in someone’s memories.
I realized, standing there, that it’s all too easy to become tied to the physical, to objects.
It is all too easy to forget that it’s the spirit, the anima, the consciousness, that truly exists, whether we’re talking about houses or we’re talking about bodies.
I am a soul who happens to have a body.
My house may crumble, but my home will endure.