Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Nostalgia

"Footfalls echo in the memory 
Down the passage we did not take 
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose garden
My words echo thus
In your mind"

Burnt Norton - T S Eliot

We drove past my old home the other day, on a brief visit to Kent, and stopped for a moment in the road outside.  A house I once lived in, a home that once was mine, a garden I once loved, an orchard where children played and a life that fitted me like a glove; a door that once was open to me, now closed for ever.


It is a strange thing, to so utterly possess a house, to sweep through the white five bar gate and park my car in the drive outside, put my key in the latch and go inside, to find my life laid out there, my possessions just as I left them, my pets waiting for me, my family coming and going, to wander outside, sit and have a cup of coffee making plans for my day, answer the telephone, put a wash on, go for a walk.  Ordinary, everyday things. And then one day it's finished.  Someone else has the keys.  I am a trespasser now and my life has moved elsewhere.

Drive on by, it's not my home anymore.  It exists only in my mind.






22 comments:

  1. I went by my old house about a month ago and saw that the owners had removed all the trees and shrubs and let the gardens turn into weeds. They had added nothing except the debris in the yard. They were not the people who we sold the house to 12 years ago, but the third owner. I was so upset and thought about it all night. I had taken such good care of that home and I was proud of it, but now it was someone else' s house and they had other priorities - I guess. It took me 12 years to return and I never will do it again. It was better to live with my memories.

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    1. Yes, it's best not to go there. If you love your home and put so much of yourself into it, it is hard to let go. It's not just the house, it's the life you lived there too and that's the most difficult thing to let go of.

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  2. I know how you feel.
    My husband and I moved last year to a new house after living 21 years in our previous home.
    I saw my old house last month and the front yard was brown, we always had green grass, it made me sad.
    But I'm very happy in my new home and have wonderful memories of my family growing up in my old house.
    All we can do is move on and keep the good memories.

    Take care, Marianne

    Margie
    x

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    1. It's hard to let go, not just a much loved home, but also the life you lived there. I just loved that house so much and it was a good time in my personal life too. I'm glad you are happy in your new home x

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  3. I can feel your melancholy as I read this. Our homes are such a deep part of us. I sold my previous home last fall and even though it's only a mile away from my new home (which I love even more) I still can't go see the old home. I don't want to see how the new owner has changed it! I am a new follower. Love following ladies on the other side of the pond!

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    1. Lovely to meet you too. It is a strange thing, moving on. Not necessarily better or worse but another room we move into as we go through life.

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  4. I have lived in many houses in my peripatetic life but this was my favourite, best-loved home. I didn't even own it, it was rented for 5 years but I was in a good place in my life and it was a very special home for us. I had to leave, it wasn't a choice and at the same time my nest became empty so that is all part of my nostalgia. Thank you for the lovely empathic comments

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  5. It is odd, isn't it, how completely we are one with a house, nestled reciprocally into each other's identities, and then we are so completely estranged, locked out, Even when we've happily moved on, it's strange to go back and peer in from the outside, to try for glimpses of that old intimacy . . .

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    1. Yes, that is absolutely right mf. It is actually a relationship we have and that becomes part of our identity and when it's over it hurts, especially if we were very much in love as I was with this particular house and the life I had there -and I didn't chose to move on! Thank you for dropping by and leaving such a kind comment x

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  6. What a fabulous and beautifully written post. I am very attached to my home and have lived here for the past 22 years (we said we'd stay 5 years!). It's only a little terrace but it means so much to me and I consider it my favourite place in the world! XX

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    1. Life had other ideas for you Suzanne and when you love your home and have such a strong bond, why would you move unless you had to - as I did. This was my favourite house in my life and the only one I really and truly miss now my life has moved on. Thanks for the kind comment x

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  7. Somehow, all the places in which I have lived happily are still mine. Only the one where I was utterly miserable for the longest time definitely belongs to someone else.
    My cottage, my London flat over three huge floors, they are still me, where I left a bit of myself behind, but the house in Essex is a nightmare. If it were pulled down I wouldn’t care.

    If ever I have to leave the house in Shropshire, my heart will break.

    I also read your previous post: yes, you are right, there’s autumn in there, as it couldn’t be more beautiful.

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    1. Then I hope you never will have to leave your Shropshire house Friko. Our homes always live on in our minds and hearts when they have been well loved. Thanks for coming by x

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  8. What a beautiful post (and house). I know just how you feel.... but memories last forever.

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  9. It was a very special house and a very special time in my life, but all things change and now I am in another life, another place. Glad you understand x

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  10. As much as I am ready to move on, this post fills me with trepidation to leave my home of 29 years. It's on the market right now. It might just be a few weeks until I'm out of here. I can so relate to how you feel. I guess you can never go home again, after all.

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    1. The important thing is that you are ready to move on Hilary. I do hope it all goes well and you enjoy your new home x

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  11. Hmmmm, yes..... I miss my old home, but not my old life. How sad it must be to miss both.

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  12. It was a very special time and a very special house rachel, but what I miss most is being a Mum!

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  13. I am so pleased to find your blog. Reading your last two posts touched a chord with me. I loved my first country cottage with a passion and still miss it's magic apple tree and walled garden. Jane x

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    1. I am so pleased to find you too Jane - this is what makes blogging so worthwhile - the kindred spirits out there in cyberspace. There is something so evocative about a country cottage, especially if it comes with a walled garden and apple trees. Dream on xx

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