We are painting the exterior of our house for the first time in the 15 years I have lived here. Actually, to be clear, Rob is painting. While he climbs the ladder, I stand guard and hand him buckets, drenching the roller in the Rookwood-Jade as needed. Like the musician he is, he has composed the entire job to be done, in his head. And dancer-like, he moves around the house, stretching his long arms in fluid movements. The peak is done, and this part, just visible over the hedge, makes it already look like a different house. The happy house it is.
I wonder why we didn’t do this sooner? Apart from the fact that the paint had worn off so much of the aluminum siding (yes, we are painting aluminum siding) that sometimes, the reflection of the sun was blinding, our home begged a new look. For many of the years I lived here, these walls defined a space of pain and sadness. Behind these walls I worried, I railed, I yelled and finally, I grieved about my husband’s addiction, his suicide. Living that way became so a part of me that I fear proclaiming the sweet serenity of now, might jinx it.
But as the shabby-white becomes a meditative green, the house seems to fuse with the landscape – the lush hedge, the maples and oaks. Spring is emerging like a profound exhale, and our sweet abode breathes deeply too.