Saying goodbye is hard. Letting go is harder. But making room for the new is essential to a progressive future. This lesson has manifested itself in my life in many forms lately, once in the demolition of my childhood home.
Now, if you’re picturing some white-picket-fence, suburbia, cookie-cutter crap, stop now. This house (using the term house loosely here) was a little different. A “funky lil’ treehouse” as I like to call it, tucked away in the woods, a part of the woods. There was one real door – the front door. There was, of course, a flimsy accordion door to the bathroom (we weren’t that close). The bathroom was the only place I could escape to, besides the woods (resulting in a strange affinity for bathrooms). The primary support beams for the house were actually whole trees with bark and everything. My older brother and I shared a room until I was 13. We turned our bedroom walls into murals of our own artwork. Our bedroom ceiling was slanted far down and easily accessible (I can’t tell you how many times I sat up too fast in bed and hit my head), and my half emerged a psychedelic patchwork of adolescent expression. But the best part of the house was the spiral staircase. A house full of gymnasts, you can imagine the fun we had, swinging around like the monkeys we were. We had frequent creature visitors – from the squirrel in the shower, to catching kamikaze bats with “the bat net,” to the ladybugs that swarmed like locusts when the weather would warm, this place never lacked excitement. It was a regular zoo, an ecosystem, and I loved every minute of it (maybe I could have done without the bats).
Just in time for puberty, we built a new house on our property (finally, my own room!). A gorgeous house they still live in today. And for the last nine years, the old house has sat. Only used to store dusty old things, and my brother’s drums. No longer lived in. No longer partied in (we trashed it pretty good). Hardly even visited for fear of black mold inhalation. Dilapidated. Now more of an eyesore and a hazard than a house, I watched as it came down piece-by-piece. The physical manifestation of my childhood was turning to rubble before my eyes. The next time I would come home it would be gone completely.
Now, only dirt and memories remain. But eventually I realized that its time had come and gone, its lifecycle complete. The memories, they’ll live with us forever. But the dirt is now ripe with potential, saturated with the love that we shared there. The dark, fertile soil that’s been hidden under that house for decades is now the perfect location for a new garden. Soon it will be beautiful and lush full of flowers, berries, and vegetables – life – a brand new thriving ecosystem. Change is inevitable. We must learn to embrace it, because from the rubble… roses will rise.