House at Night

Photo by pdxnielson

I love, at night, to sometimes linger in a dark room, after everyone else has gone up to bed. Standing in a doorway, amongst the shadows in the quiet of our house, and look all around me. The picture frames on the wall, the toys dropped in the corner of the room. All of the countless things that we’ve built up and often defines who we’ve become. A faint light curls from the shadows around the staircase heading upstairs, like a trail pointing to the four lives that I hold most dear. Not so long ago it was only me, full of anticipation and wonder of what lie ahead. Life has charged forward, often leaving me weary from the rush, draining the daily appreciation of what’s become, what we hold most dear.

Somehow the night makes it easier to see what we’re usually too busy to notice amidst the mid-day grind. The whir of constant voices, tugging needs and moving places. Pressures and demands from all directions. But in the darkness and the silence, I smile, because I know that I have all that I’ve truly dreamt of, what I was straining to find all those years. The girl with golden hair who loves me for who I am despite my cracks and specks that pull at my edges. Three boys with fantastic, frantic energy that makes me feel so complete – that fills me with assurance that this is surely my reason for being.

I question why these memories fade so easily. Why do the shadows creep in and callous my heart to where it loses its softness, its gentleness, its joy to the smiles that surround me. Why do I allow my mind to be consumed by the little things that I know don’t really matter? So on nights like this, when I ruminate amidst the darkness, or others when I wander out into the yard and gaze up at the sky, lit with a billion dancing stars – it helps it all come back to me. That first moment when I looked up from my cubicle at the girl in the purple dress who’d become my wife, summer days in the yard sprinting across the grass with a giggling boy tucked under each arm, nights with a new little baby nestled on my shoulder by his crib.

I don’t know what the future holds for me, for my family. But I know what I want to be and what I want it to look like. What kind of men I hope my boys become. How I pray they are to each other and those they love. How I never want them to move far away. How I yearn for my marriage to desperately cling to love and commitment no matter what. And there is no doubt within me of how I need to be – mesmerized by the magic of the night, holding fast all that is certain, all that God has given to me. Standing in the shadows, glimpsing the faint light as it creeps along the wall, filling up my heart with the wonder of joy and love and the blessings from above.

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