An Ode to the Tall House

I have always felt a special connection to my homes.  More than most maybe, but I feel the energy and love we have put into them and I can recall the ways the shadows danced on all my walls.  So it is no surprise that this house I don’t own, in a country that is not mine, is no different at all.

I have always loved staying in a higher floor in hotels, and for a few short years, I have had the chance to live in one.  My daughter calls this our “tall house” and it has stuck.  Living high up with the birds and watching the weather and the boats that visit the port has both simplified my life and complicated it.

Moving overseas was essentially a downsize.  We brought less stuff and once we put our apartment together, we stopped fussing with it.  No trips to Home Depot, no remodel’s or upgrades.  It was perfectly imperfect.  No bathtub or dishwasher, not enough outlets or storage and ants that show up every rainy season.   All things aside, I love this apartment.

This home has been our refuge, our soft place to fall when the world was hard.  It has held dance parties and dinner parties and nights when we turned off all the lights to watch the lightning strike.  A rooftop pool instead of a backyard, and the sounds of the city below to fill the space.  I have seen the sun rise and set from these windows and I have never been able to say that before.  It will be weird for many to understand, but I will absolutely miss this place like crazy.

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon


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