Tuesday, August 14, 2007


The fantastic thing about visitors is the excitement of their impending arrival. The problem with visitors is that eventually they have to go home, life returns to its normal hum-drum (yes, even on the ark) pace and for a while. A scene in slow-motion in which we walk around as if there's a draft in the house that no one can find. "I think I felt it over here. No, it was definitely here. Don't you feel it? You don't? Drat. Maybe it was downstairs." And on and on it goes. When visitors first arrive, time is spent adjusting to and accomodating their arrival and when they depart, it's like Baby Bear wandering from chair to chair and bowl to bowl unable to find the one that fits "just right."

In her children's book, The Relatives Came, Cynthia Rylant describes the first night with the relatives:
"It was different, going to sleep with all that new breathing in the house."
And on the night the relatives head back home:
"We watched the relatives disappear down the road, then we crawled back into our beds that felt too big and too quiet."

Today, as we stood and watched the final visitors in a two-week series depart, the children walked in the house and wandered around aimlessly for ten minutes before announcing, "We're going downstairs where we can talk...a lot. It's too quiet up here." So now, I sit alone upstairs, the only sound the clickety-clack of my fingers hitting the keyboard, while the children are downstairs trying to replicate the sounds of laughter and happiness, the giggles and screeches of a houseful of joy, the undeniable sounds of a home filled with special, limited-time only visitors.

I might just go join them; because, they were right after all, it really is too quiet up here.

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