"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.