Monday, March 28, 2011

Inhabited By Spirits

“That’s where my uncle’s house used to stand,” declares my mother, every time we pass that hillside on the way to Hamilton. “I remember coming out to visit the cousins.” Apparently the home was located in the optimum path for the new highway, and was expropriated and torn down to make way for it. Funny how a shelter of various building materials can become so much a part of oneself just because you have lived part of your life within it. It must feel peculiar to see an expanse of asphalt obliterating vivid memories of childhood you hold dear.

I am not one hundred percent sure, but I think every place I have lived still stands. About ten of those places are in the city of Toronto, and I pass by them every once in awhile. A good friend has a condo across from one my old apartments. When I sit out on her balcony I look across to what was once my balcony. Memories of the times when I lived there, those many years ago, come alive in my mind; they become a little more concrete just because I am near the physical presence of a past abode.

You can feel the spirits of others who have lived in a home, too, even though you never knew them. When I go to visit the old farmhouse in the Ottawa Valley that was the homestead of Steve’s ancestors, their ghosts close in around me. It is not a bad feeling, but they are definitely there. They walk the land around the farm, too, haunting the barns and the well-worn paths that lead along the river. It is fortunate to be able to hold onto places your spirit has inhabited. I, myself, have been forced to let many go.

No comments:

Post a Comment

AddThis Widget (for sharing)

Crazy Egg (Analytics)