Perspective of a House
Mary E. Adair
The house stood there, outwardly the same: white clapboards, climbing two stories into the cold November sky. The dormer windows blankly staring down to the street, separated from the yard by a white double picketted fence, give little evidence of who once looked out upon this scene, yet never will again. The chimney smoke spirals upward--the smoke from an offering to the Gods from the sacrificial pyre of patriotism might burn thus. The nostrils pick up the scent of the smoke--the sharp oily pine odor, reminsicient of aftershave and barbeques. The cold of the wind that shapes the spiral, gusting first this way, then there, in the manner a young man makes up his mind, sinks directly into the heart--chilling all the dreary feelings--hopefully.
A swift of swallows rise from the barn, a slight distance behind the house, winging their way into and through and around the rising smoky tendril, not dispersing the gloom, but adding to it. They scatter in flight the way dark thoughts fly in all directions at once. The birds dart above the kitchen wing of the house where laughter once filled the room that now bears dishes of food brought in by neighbors, well-meaning parents of children grown and still growing, who quickly murmur words to comfort, and as quickly escape on their way down the trellised, rock and thyme path.
The path, well-worn by many small, and larger wheeled toys, wanders around the house, making a complete circle for would-be racers, a trail for the exploration of beached pirates, shipwrecked by young imagination, and leading ultimately into the future, that now is only the past. A past composed of many paths, simply beginning in this grassy, leaf and broken-dream strewn yard, and leading to explorations into many other areas, other lands, other purposes, and onward now toward the final destination, decorated with bravery, and trophies of accomplishments, racing up the last path.
The crisp, chilly November weather no doubt gave the excuse to be burning the fireplace of the two-storied white clapboard home. She liked the way the smoke lifted aspiringly to the faint clouds above, curling slightly, to avoid--it seemed, the soaring swallows. The swallow sillouettes against the sky reminded her of miniature bows built for mischevious invisible cupids, darting here and there looking for willing victims of their arrows. The oily, smoky scent on the breeze reminds her of the shopped-for, but not-yet-bought massage oils--did she dare?
This lovely house, surrounded gracefully with still green grass despite the season, but because of it, that grass is littered by leaves fallen from the sturdy trees almost blocking the picturesque sight of the old fashioned barn a short distance away. The yellow leaves glide downward, kissing each other as they fall, to invest the yard with golden pirate coins among the grass. The sharply picketted fence surrounded the yard, hugging to itself all the goodness, hoarding joy of green, and treasures of gold alike. An encircling path forms a bond between house and yard makes one think of wedding rings.
She liked everything about the house, the dormer windows, framed in a wishbone shaped roof jutted out over the side walls. Viewing all this glorious bounty of the trees were the kitchen windows that bejeweled the side of the house. They were surrounded by walls of sparkling white paint that flirted with the sun, glancing sunbeams into prisms of rainbow hues that traveled to the edges of the walls and beyond in a flattering imitation of the great orb. The sun returned the flirtation with such intensity that tears came to her eyes. "Oh!" she exclaimed, "What a happy place!"