I'm sitting in a folding chair in the living room of my new home. The chair is the sole piece of furniture in the house. The rest of our possessions await in our old apartment, soon to be loaded into the U-Haul that my husband is currently picking up from across town. To my right, a large window overlooks the sun porch, which overlooks an already budding tree between whose branches mountains are visible, presiding in their humble way. We're always here, they shrug, aware of their beauty, yet nonchalant.
I first visited Boulder as a freshman in college, eleven years ago. I remember walking down Pearl Street, soaking in the sunshine and vibrancy of this community. I hiked Mt. Sanitas and wandered through the surrounding Mapleton Hill neighborhood, with its trim bungalows and sprawling Victorians with their lush vegetable gardens in shades of gleaming emerald that seemed to glow with some kind of magic in the thin, bright Colorado air. I was staying with my best friend's grandparents, and their house had a deck with panoramic views of the town of Boulder beneath the mountains. I would wake early in the morning to slip out onto the deck, paying no need to the morning chill, and imagining that someday it would be my own porch and my own house with a view.
My new house is a 1920's cottage bungalow with all of the charm (read: "quirks") you might expect in a house built a century ago, including inexplicable directional changes in the wood floors and a gothic-looking brass light fixture that wouldn't look out-of-place in a Tim Burton film. While the views aren't exactly panoramic, I can see the mountains very well. The feeling of being at home here--the sense of ease--is so strong I feel a lump form in my throat whenever I think about it. The particulars of the space, even the quirks, feel familiar to me, like some amalgamation of my childhood home (a similarly styled bungalow on a similarly tree-lined street) and houses I've seen or visited throughout my life.
Moving is an illuminating experience, in ways that are obvious yet also unexpected. Past moves (and there have been 9 in the past 10 years) have seen me anxious and stressed. Granted, several of those times involved moving to a new city or state, a challenging ordeal in the best of circumstances. This time around has been defined, however, by an almost preternatural calm, an assuredness that not only am I in the right geographical location, I am also now in the right space.
One that has a story. One that has a soul.