This house stares me down every morning, and most mornings, it wins. I drop my eyes, my shoulder's curve inward and I slink away.
I sit outside with my morning coffee and every tree, bush and rock holds a memory. I go inside and every piece of wood, tile, even the paint holds another memory. The morning sun shining through the windows and warming the floors, the changes I've made to the shape of the rooms, these things don't keep the house from winning.
I thought half way through the second year things would be easing off a bit. And they are. The grief is no longer a blazing sword, now it's more like an ever present set of eyes. Watching, always there. It rarely takes me down anymore but it wears away at me and I am tired. My struggle now is not how to get through each day but how to find myself again.
I know I feel like me when I get down off this mountain, away from the hills and trees that always feel so claustrophobic to me. I know I remember who I am when I am with a student, teaching. I know my soul breathes at the ocean, with the smell of salt and air I can feel on my skin. Honestly, many days I want to leave these hills and this house and find a way to something new and clear.
Someone told me the other day that it was just a house. And he was right. But right now, the house still wins.