As I stand here, I can see the world changing all around me & I know I am just in the way, no longer the pretty little house on this road but a shadow of my former self, a shelter for pigeons & mice, a fire trap, an eyesore to passersby, better off demolished!
Wait... in the silence I hear an unfamiliar sound, the crunch of snow, footsteps approach my door. I recognise this person. Yes, the strange visitor from a few months ago. I welcomed his visit then, for the hour or 2 that he wandered through my dark silent rooms, my loneliness was lifted, I felt from him a sense of genuine compassion, he was interested in my history, I saw the sadness in his eyes as he witnessed my decay & how they would light up briefly when he would imagine me as I looked many years ago or would see something that reminded him of his childhood. Was he here to fix me up, to restore me to what I once was?? It didn't really matter as he was my first visitor in many years & I just wanted to relish the moment, soak it in. For days after this strange visitor had left, I would listen for the familiar sound of footsteps on dry leaves, anticipating a return visit but my hopes slowly faded & were replaced once again by silence .... he didn't return!
I couldn't believe it, here was this stranger in the middle of winter, come for another visit. It's as if he came to check on me, to see how I was weathering the lonely winter.
But something's different this time...... he opens my door but does not enter & even though I still sense compassion & pity from him, there's something else showing on his face...... It's fear!! It seems the winter has given my rooms a dark & foreboding appearance, my decay is more prominent, I'm cold inside, my rotted floors are a trap for the unwary foot, especially in the darkness & as much as he would like to enter, he can't. It saddens me that he sees me this way but I understand & do not blame the stranger. So he stands at my entrance just looking with sad eyes & it's at this time that we both come to the realization that time tolls for me...I won't be here much longer & I feel that as much as he'd like to fix me, fill me with warmth once again, he knows the battle is lost & I must return to the ground. He stands silently at my entrance for a few moments, then slowly closes my weather stained door & I can hear the gentle crunching of snow as he once again leaves me in the winter silence.
I've only seen the stranger 2 or 3 times but I feel we're old friends & I truly believe he understands that an old lonely decrepit house can have a soul & just as a mortal person slowly grows old, decrepit, sad, lonely, so does an old house & just as he dies, so must the old house.