This morning I looked around the house that I've been occupying for nearly three years. It sits up on a hill so I have a panoramic view of the Pacific skyline. I live alone in a three bedroom house and use one room as an office, another as a yoga and pop-up guest room for family visits. Two weeks ago, my brother and his family flew in from New Jersey and when they drove out for a final trip to the beach this morning, this is what I observed.
- My refrigerator and pantry are filled with items that I don't normally buy, eat, or drink.
- My one cup espresso maker has been temporarily outdone by a slick new Aeropress.
- Once idle outlets are now being occupied by laptop, iPhone and iPod chargers. We're only now getting used to the pings and beeps from each others' devices.
- Trash and compost bins fill up with near hyperlapse speed.
- My nephew spends most of the day on an airbed in the guest room, playing Wii games. Whenever he shifts his body, there's a gurgling sound emitted from the pumped in air, trapped in the vulcanized rubber mattress.
- When we're all home, there's a white Chevy SUV parked in the driveway and part-time basketball court; someone's here.
My space is large enough for four people to comfortably have some private time in various spots indoor and out. All of this space will suddenly fall silent tomorrow afternoon, when they drive away as I wave good-bye and close the gate behind them. It will take me several days to adjust to the silence and emptiness when our conversations are once again handled by Short Message Service.
I am never lonely and I enjoy my solitude, but I also enjoy company and miss people when they leave. Especially when they are here for more than a few days and leave behind spaces filled only in my memory. That's just my observation.