I have been a home owner since I was 26. My mum and dad lived with my great aunt for seven years to save enough money to buy their first house, they are only in their second now. Home owning is what we do, further more, house owning is what we do, not a flat but a house, with a garden; it’s in my DNA.
Next Friday the house I co-own with my ex husband and the home I raised my children in will be sold and the proceeds divided up. After the mortgage and debts have been paid off the amount left will not be enough for a deposit as I do not earn enough to make up the difference with a mortgage. My ex husband earns three times my salary and is younger than me and so may be able to buy somewhere, however he grew up in Scotland where home ownership was not common as he grew up and he always fretted about the responsibility and the pressure of owning a house. The irony of this situation is not lost on me as I find myself looking into the next decade and wondering how I resolve this sense of loss of place. I feel left behind – my peers who have managed thus far to stay together – still have their houses, some even have paddocks and are planning granny flats. This life, that I once had glimpses of joining, will no longer be mine.
I am trying to decide what I want from the furniture that remains in the house. I have taken care of my initial and most pressing needs in the 3 years since I left. My furniture is from charity shops, school sales, and donated by the generosity of friends. I like my space’s eclectic style, but I desire the kind of comfort I get from closing your own front door and curling up on a sofa with a lap to put my head in.
It seems a long time ago now, but one golden afternoon was spent kneeling in front of Him with my head in His lap. We both fell asleep as the sun’s autumnal rays poured through the reddening leaves of the trees outside my window, comfortable enough with each other to snore gently without self consciousness. His hand was in my hair as I inhaled the smell of fields that clung to his denimed legs and dreamed of more days spent laughing and kissing. Dreaming of us and comfortable in the space we inhabited.
That sense of place is what I want to bring with me to my new home. Comfort, pleasure, desire, beauty, laughter and a lack of self consciousness that is still refreshing and exhilarating to me in its unexpected newness.
Where it is won’t matter as long as I have that.
Where it is won’t matter as long as I have us.