Quiet stillness, an empty space… she could sense only her own breathing, and subtle waves of air being pushed about by the circulating fan. Then she heard it. The sound of rain gently dropping, crescendoing into pounding torrents. It brought back memories of the stair cabin, a rustic place her parents once owned at the lake.
The children had named it for the mint green painted staircase that led up to the sleeping loft. After climbing the narrow steep steps one had to push upwards, and lock upright, a long heavy trap door that opened to four large sleeping areas, a tiny closet bathroom, and a small private “honeymoon” room. At night the trap door was closed to kept wee ones from tumbling down the stairs, and to conserve downstairs heat in the winter when the loft was unused. Large swing-up windows, facing the lake and at each end of the loft, could be hooked open to let breezes blow through while night sounds of waves lapping the shore bid drowsy heads to dreamland. Sleeping in the loft was an experience every soul should encounter… it was especially comforting when rain pounded down on the metal roof. It sounded warm, a song that enveloped and hugged, that swayed and danced with rest and contentment. No matter thunder or lightening, it was always friendly. Sheltered. Secure. Home.
Those days were filled with promise. Life exploded in that place. Family and friends coming and going, laughter resounding off the walls. It was inviting, cozy, full of happy memories… days overflowing, full of people and doing and togetherness. Busyness of fixing meals, wrangling children and dogs, racing on four wheelers over rutted mountain trails to the old quarry. Jumping off the L-shaped dock into the clear waters of the lake, sinking toes into the silky muddy bottom, sailing or motoring boats across the lake and in and out of the private dock-created cove. Fishing, playing along the sandy beach, climbing the rocky perimeters. And in winter, tubing down the long steep driveway and skiing on the frozen lake. Children’s joy-filled voices brought bright music to life there, many grand memories part of the symphony of that place.
Perhaps with becoming elderly the woman’s empty space was natural. Families and grands busy with their own lives. Friends busy with theirs. She and her husband had somehow become a bit reclusive, content in their solitude. It was comforting in many ways, peaceful in a world of unrest. Still, they weren’t dead yet! As she sat listening to the silence, holding close those vibrant alive days from long ago, she was captured between two realities, a transition of sorts, a space of gratitude and cherished remembering. While the rain continued to fall a lovely thought burst into her mind…those stair cabin days must have been a little piece of heaven, a foreshadowing of more joyous life to come. Yes, surely. Sheltered. Secure. Home.