Friday, May 31, 2013


I sometimes think about the story behind a square foot.

I'll stand in a single piece of Earth and wonder, what happened here?
What didn't happen here?
Who lived their life in this place?
Who felt at home here?
Who only passed by?
What is the story of this place?

We've lived here at 5025 for only eight months. A passing through, you could say, and yet it's felt more significant than that. This was our first apartment. The first place we landed, unloaded, hung up pictures, built shelves, and constructed the beginning of our life together. It is here that we learned a little more about each other. It is here that we hosted friends who brought guitars and food and laughter. We made coffee and spent lazy mornings in our PJs. This place matters.

But this place will bear no resemblance of any of that once we're gone. Today, we'll load up the trailer of all of our things and we'll take our memories with us. And tomorrow morning another person will move in to our home. This space will no longer be ours. She will create her own memories here. She will make it her own. And many more will come after us.

Will they wonder at its previous tenants? Will they want to know who we were and what we created here? Maybe. Maybe not. It makes me want to leave a blank book behind--like a bed and breakfast--where people can write their experiences and share what made this place special. Because without it, all I have are assumptions I draw from continuing to receive all of their mail.

For all the flack that the dreaded "material possessions" receive, there's something to be said about spaces and objects and that hold incredible meaning. That dress. That photograph. That couch. We hold these things dear because they remind us of something greater. Of another time. We know deep down, it doesn't make much difference in the end, but for now, I think they bring us comfort. They make us feel safe. A part of something larger. They tell a story.

And someday we'll come back to Lincoln, Nebraska. Some friends will still be here. Others will have moved on. And we'll drag our kids to this street and say, "This was our first apartment way back in 2012!" And they'll roll their eyes and be mostly disinterested. But this is where we met and fell in love. They won't understand what this square-mile plot in the middle of Nebraska has meant to us. Until years later, when their own lives feel shaky and temporary and they realize--perhaps for the first time--that this is all a beautiful cycle and the best we can do is pay respect to those before us and give hope for those to come.

And keep. moving. onward.


Karalee Rhuman said...

Very true. I have never really thought of it like that before. Never reflected on all the memories other's have made in the place I am standing right now. It's kind of crazy.
Good thoughts.