Welcome to another guest post for my ‘Hello Home…’ pandemic themed feature. It would seem all of us have experienced or are still experiencing a lockdown of some sort while the corona virus continues to blight our lives. Although we are all in the same situation, we experience it differently because our homes are all so different. Thinking about this inspired me to write a piece a few weeks ago dedicated to my house and what it has meant to me during these strange and unsettling times. I then decided to reach out to others who might want to talk about what their home has meant to them during the pandemic. Today please welcome writer Adeola Sheehy to the blog!
My house has shrunk.
I’m not entirely sure when it happened, but sometime just past summer the walls began to move.
This house has always been cosy, but I now understand that bungalows have a habit of getting smaller the longer you stay in them, especially when the people inside just keep growing bigger.
I look down at the floor and expect to see a visible path in the carpet. There is a perfect circle to run in, from the hallway, through the kitchen, round through the front room and back again. I know it is perfect because I watch the exhilaration on their faces as they chase each other, and because I laugh at their shrieks as I join in the pursuit.
On a Monday there are so many people in my house I’m reminded of a house-party and my second favourite spot in the hallway, there are no getaway stairs here. Only now all the ‘guests’ are in tiny boxes on screens, with each child in a different class in a different room. There aren’t enough rooms or screens, so I end up here, in the hallway. Except this party is oddly quiet. I wonder if this is what those silent discos feel like? Everyone in their own individual worlds, together.
Our daily lives are now governed by these mini invasions, sudden bursts of people all talking at the same time, scrabbling for a moment of connection.
The nights are a contrast and that silence has a different feel.
Once it’s just the house and I, we both exhale, deep and long, releasing the built up tension and softening the edges which have hardened through the day’s onslaught.
The walls recede there in the dark. They shift back into place, a retreat from the battle lines drawn in the day. It’s those daylight hours, with their noise and movement that take up all the air and physical space. That’s when the walls move in and I start plotting my escape.
I used to love travel, but I loved coming home too. That brief window of time when you step inside the door and see the space as an outsider. It only lasts minutes, like the moment you bump into an old friend or lover on a busy street
and your eyes drink each other in, smiling in recognition, noticing the changes. The instant familiarity and simultaneous curiosity of the new.
Then slowly it all slots into place, the warmth of people fills the air, the sound of chatter pushes the stillness out and it’s all the same once more.
I haven’t left in over a year and familiarity is not helping our relationship. I need to leave so I can miss you. Your walls are like arms encouraging me on my way, pushing me out the door. We will like each other again I’m sure, but right now I can’t imagine how you got so small and I just don’t seem to fit.
Thank you so much to Adeola for writing this piece for the blog. If you would like to find out more about Adeola and her work, her bio and links are below!
Mother, writer, and women circle facilitator, Adeola leads courses in creativity and all aspects of the feminine experience. The written word has been her expression, safe haven, and dearest love for as long as she can remember. Be it fiction, poems, essays, or musings on life, her pen is almost always attached to paper.
Follow her on Instagram at @adeola_moonsong and at her blog https://www.adeolasheehyaworldinwords.com/