When I was younger my mom had chairs made for our deck . . . a guy she worked with was an amazing carpenter and had made some beautiful pieces so she quickly put in an order for four chairs for our quaint deck so that we may sunbathe, if we so chose. When she brought them home she was so excited - "aren't they great?!" she exclaimed; they were great - beautifully made and they leaned waaayyyy back. They also each had one board that was longer than all the others right in the middle; these beautiful chairs my mom had ordered had a middle finger of sorts - rising for all to see.
But we used them, all the same; we sat in them and chatted in them and caught several sun rays in them, too. They weathered all sorts of weather - the woodiness of their wood faded and cracked and recently she painted them a particularly gorgeous shade of red; the red reminded me of the same color that graced the front barn on my grandpy's farm - and I began to love these chairs even more - I began to love them all over again.
You see, I'm getting ready to move out soon. It's a relatively big step for a homebody such as myself. I was offered a job that has afforded me the time and reality of paying for my own place, of picking out furniture for a place of my own, of creating wonky color schemes for each room in my head; I am excited. But, I'm also scared.
Corn fields and silent, starry nights are all I've ever grown up around. My childhood began and ended just walking steps from a corn field; a little girl's pink bedroom became a yellow sanctuary in which she would entrust far too much to one boy - all with the tall, tasseling corn stalks dancing with the wind. Traffic has never been an issue - in fact the noisiest things get around here are the pieces of farm equipment gathering their money from the fields surrounding the white house that built me.
Within the walls of this home with the middle fingered, red chairs I have felt the love of a family that infuriates me almost as much as they delight me. I have gone from mouthy and sailor mouthed to a woman who likes to think she thinks before she speaks now.
A little boy was once brought home to these walls - they tell me I was quite helpful when he first arrived; I remember greatly disliking him, though - and the smell of his hands and his constant tractor noises. But that's all dissipated - breathing would be difficult without him - and he's never been afraid to live, thus teaching me more than I could have ever imagined about life.
Fights have broken out in this house - heated and ringing with fury. Doors have slammed and names have been yelled - but now I know what I want, and what I don't - what I deserve and what needs to be left and forgiven.
A sweet, black dog has been laid to rest under a shade tree in my back yard and a basketball court sits left abandoned along with my dreams of athleticism. Where weeds now overpower, there used to be the most gloriously large shade tree, it had a wood board around a rope that I used to swing on, but like the most precious people, it was weakened by the world and had to move on.
There sits a fire ring, right in the center of our back yard - many a pick up truck have circled around it, with loud, twangy music sounding - all those nights you hear of in country songs, they took place right outside this white, shingled house.
As I type this just now, I'm sitting beneath a canopy that shades the sunlight and protects the stars - I have sat beneath this canopy before a note riddled Bible, writing my heart before a page, praying for a life that is just getting started, laughing with people I am not quite sure how I survived without before that very moment.
I have, quite inexplicably, gone from a girl who wanted to shed her roots and run for city lights to a woman who loves what she knows about the country because it is familiar - because, as it turns out, it's my heart; sunsets are real strokes from God's hands, and they're the best when viewed from a front porch; the sweet smell of corn means the time is coming to break out the big, green machines; manure isn't always sweet smelling, but it's home; family - no matter how far, no matter the divides are who give you your roots, who teach you how to use your wings.
You see, I'm moving out soon. I look at these sweet, red, middle finger showing chairs and think about how they strongly resemble this particular time in my life - they give meaning to the white house that will always be mine, even when it isn't.
A family, a life, will begin purely and then the world, as it often does, sets both heartache and happiness rapid fire on the skin, the heart, the eyes. We weather these things - our eyes will reveal the storms, our hands show the testimonies, a smile will either color a face or strip it bare. But, lean back - waaayyy back. Trust the people that brought you here, trust that they will help you move forward from here.
This home, these chairs - they are not perfect. They have secrets they don't dare to tell. But, it is here where I first began. It is here where I will always belong - no matter what zip code I reside.