Hardly a moment went by in that 4 weeks without something somewhere reminding me of the house that I too seemed to have abandoned. I could be in a museum or walking in a garden; even seeing an empty birdcage or an old man could trigger flashes of the House before me. I wondered about the flowers, thought about whether the roof was still green and imagined all the details in the mural that I never had the chance to really see.
I began giving myself reasons to return. The flowers need me. The birds and bees need me! The House; it really, really needs me!! And that scare? Well, it was just me working too hard and too long. A tired mind playing tricks on a weak constitution.
Going back was inevitable.
In order to avoid what happened the last time, I made a few rules. Thou shalt not work thyself into a frenzy or stay beyond twilight. Definitely no sleeping over and try not to be alone.
With that new resolve, I happily set out once again toward the house. This time, I brought only 2 things; an old copper coffee pot and my cast iron water kettle with rusty handle. I went prepared only to just enjoy the quiet and beauty with a good cup of tea. And if, no, the word should be when, when my friends should join me, even the coffee-only-no-tea ones, they too could have their cuppa.
Upon arrival, I went straight to the inside of the house. Might as well confront my fears, I told myself, and of course, to put the kettle on. The house was pretty much how I left it. It was messy and full of stuff. There were amongst many, books, jars of different types of mineral stones, bowls, pots and a whole load of paraphernalia for some kind of processing. There were also a few pieces of old furniture. I saw a good side table, one or two broken stools and two Chinese high tables that I really liked.
And of course there was the ladder.
That ladder made me realise for the first time that this house had a second floor. It was in a really bad shape though and would need quite a major repair job. I could see that there were parts of the floor that had rotted and fallen off.
Quite naturally, I started clearing the room.Slowly, leisurely and with often stops for my coffee and tea. I stacked the small items neatly outside the house and then I cleaned the high benches and side table.
By the time I left, the inside of the house no longer felt scary. It actually looked neat and quite habitable.
I came back again the next morning with fresh sachets of tea and coffee and a bunch of colour pencils and pastel sticks. All I did that whole day was shaving the pencils, one by one, with a pen knife. Slowly, leisurely and with frequent stops for my cuppas.
It was another good day.