A hollow sound resonated as I closed the French doors to what had been my room for the past eight years. The longest I've ever lived at one address - which at present totals to somewhere over 40.
Growing up, I had to encounter the inevitable question of whether my parents were in the army. "No", I replied repeatedly and wondered why we moved so often. Sixth grade was the worst, having gone to three different schools spanning two states and three cities. Crazy, I know. Even in college, I would move once or twice a year.
Born and raised in California - besides the five years in Oregon, the four years in Nevada, a year in Colorado, three months in Washington, one month in Georgia, a year in Croatia - I now live in Texas.
The reason for having moved here from California is the same as I suspect many other Californians have migrated to Texas - affordability. With husbands going to work, wives are able to stay home and raise a family. I haven't heard of many stay-at-home moms in California. But that chapter in my book of life is over and another is being written.
"An echo", my daughter commented as we returned to the house and I took one last look at the room. She ran upstairs to staple the hat she'd made at school today while Sage gathered some toys to bring over to my place.
Cinnamon helped her brother carry a basketful of Brio wooden tracks and bridges to the minivan. Tired of playing with the same game throughout the week, the two figured they needed a change. Having forgotten a few key connecting pieces and more tracks, they made the best out of what they had. Their next stay would be better.
The room, now empty, will be turned into something else. It is a beautiful room at the front of the house with cherry wooden floors and a large window that I framed with red velvet curtains. The white cotton voile sheers drape onto the floor and soften the bright sunlight as it shines through the window.
"Mama's room"...as the children grew to knew the room. I had always envisioned it being a room for my boy when he got older - with the other two rooms upstairs going to the girls.
Life. A journey along which you meet people who lead you to your next destination. Some places you stay awhile. Other places you're meant to linger but for a moment. Every stop is a place to gather experiences, memories, and lessons. Lessons to take with you to your next destination and to share with people you meet along the way.
The rule is simple. Move forward. Going backwards in time serves no purpose but to hinder your progression into the future. The past is gone. The future is unknown. The now is writing itself with each passing moment.
These words from this song by b-Movie...
I thought, I saw you smile at me
But it was meant for someone else to find
I thought, I heard you say my name
But it was just an echo in my mind