In Stillness, Out of Shadow

It begins and ends in stillness. With the gentle closing of the door behind me, the hushed sanctuary of the Boston condo immediately inspires a tranquility that I’ve only found here. In the mid-afternoon sunlight, streaming through the bedroom and over the hardwood floors, I let out a deep breath.

It is one of my favorite moments, when everything is pristine and bright. The possibilities of an afternoon unfurl in the back of my head. I set my bags down and survey any negligent messes left by my brother. Having witnessed the slow, and now rapid, decline of my parents’ house during his time there, I am adamant that similar destruction not occur here. Thankfully nothing is too bad, aside from a messy floor that he’s never vacuumed a day in his life. No matter, a proper spring cleaning is around the corner.

I walk into the bathroom, badly in need of a renovation, and make a few mental notes. A cracked tile trips me up at the threshold, so I gently shuffle it back into place. Pulling open the curtains a bit, I allow light to fill the space. It’s rare that the window is open, and the effect is refreshing. Something to consider for the future.

Backing out into the bedroom, I wearily eye the need for another coat of paint. It’s only white, but the closet and storage doors have never been painted, the walls are marred by scrapes and nail holes, and the trim is in need of updating. That’s in the future, though, and my ambition will only serve a bathroom project for now.

Here, I pause. Through the window blinds, bright bands of sun rays spill over the floor and bed. Sunlight, when this strong, is much welcomed in the winter, and it’s a luxury to be in this room, at this hour, when a long weekend is in its infancy.

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