The Southern Exodus/The Northern Happiness
They were an ordinary family. Two parents. Hardworking, loving, middle-class, selfless, and aging. Several children, a mixture of boys and a few girls. All clothed, fed, educated, disciplined, respected, and loved. Years back, they decided to take on an adventure together. To move to the north. They felt in their hearts that the journey would erase their troubles and give them new hope. It would change them all. And it did. But in ways different than they dreamed.
They made the move successfully. All their persons were safe and in one piece. But the years to come were not as successful or beautiful as the original dreams that had brought them there. Job losses, prolonged unemployment, illnesses, hospital stays, grandparents passing, high-risk pregnancies, piling bills, sparse groceries, and a crowded apartment. This ordinary family, full of adventure and dreams, was hit with one punch after another. Each one more forceful and gutwrenching than the last. And as time went on, they began to wonder if their daring to dream was worth all this ruin.
But hope can save the anguished soul. One day they got a phone call that their maternal grandmother, who had passed since the start of their adventure, had left a bank account in the name of her daughter. And it had a sizeable sum of money. Not certain but optimistic, they believed it could be enough to buy the family their very own house. The first since their exodus from the south. And they felt that maybe, just maybe, this could be a token of their former happiness. The very kind they unknowingly lost in their climb to the north.
A few months went by, and after seemingly aimless and fruitless house hunting, they innocently stumbled upon a ripe peach one day. It was still young and not quite perfect. But it was bursting with potential. The kind that made their homesick eyes sparkle for the first time in years. Dealing and negotiating was done, and anxiety, worry, and stress was had. But in the end, the seller's gave way. And the family won back a token of their past.
Every day following they spent preparing the house, this new treasure of their lovesick hearts. Cleaning, taping, painting, wiring, building, and tweaking. And minute by minute, day by day, they gained an ounce more of their happiness back. With every scrub, every vacuum, every stroke of the brush, renewed joy seeped its way into their lives. For they finally had the one thing they had so heedlessly cast aside and left behind. The very thing they came in search of, not realizing that it exists not in a place but in your heart. They had a home.
Written 10.27.09 @ 11:53 PM