The week before Easter, before I started boxing up my books and packing away my things in earnest, Elize came by for scones. We had coffee, talked about finding our way and she took some pictures. She is a joy to be around - the closest thing I know to sunshine and goodness in a person - and lordy can she take a picture. I love the way Elize notices details, which I suppose is how she sees the world. And she always gets the light just right.
Douglas St is best in autumn. There is a golden hum that hits the front step in the afternoon that is some ind of wonderful. It was lovely to have her there to capture it all - the five, nearly six, years and seasons that have passed between these walls.
It felt very much like closing a chapter for me. I've had a hell of a time there - from the worst days I've known to very much the best. It's felt like home, like my home, more than anywhere I've ever lived. Maybe it felt striking as I have no idea where those boxes and things will next find their home, where and when I'll be unpacking them again. There's a lot up in the air, and I'm taking some time and space to myself. Not so much to work anything out, but to just be. It's quite a revelation, to know that you can change things, turn your world upside down any old time. It's a gift, a year away.
But I know I couldn't have managed it a few years ago, maybe not even a year ago (circumstances not withstanding). The thing about Douglas St is, well, everything; the narrow laneway, the overgrown park, the mad neighbours, the lovely neighbours, the morning light in the kitchen and endless pots of coffee on the stove, the jasmine (oh! the jasmine!) each October, all the backyard parties under the fairy lights, the long and late dinner parties I can barely count, the French doors in my room - almost always open, the nearly falling-down stairs and the half-wall in the bathroom, the afternoon beers on the front step, the evening wines on the front step, the friends and family in the kitchen - talking and laughing with me while I cook or bake or wait, and the amazing women who have called it home with me. Those ladies, goodness. There's nothing like sharing your home and heart (and often your dinner) with someone to bring out the best.