A few months ago I visited my grandparents' home. House. It's really just a house now. It's empty. The stuff is still there but the house is hollow. I wrote about it then, but I am still thinking about it (and writing about it) now.
It kind of blew my mind the way things were falling apart. Just because. Just because no one was there to fix things up. There was a dead mouse in the basement. Things were cracking and peeling and leaking and plants were growing and I could see it all happening in my head like a stop-motion video, this house and home and place I love, turning back into earth. Turning into the world the way it is when we aren't there to make our very people-y changes.
I walked around the yard with my kids, just the four of us, and I felt like a ghost. I thought about everything that ever happened in that yard. I looked at the little shed in the side yard -- the shed that stored my first bike and my first wagon -- and I looked straight into the eyes of a fox. A fox. A fox that lived there now, in a hole under that shed full of history. An actual fox, with a lame leg. It came hobbling towards us and I froze, both terrified and in awe as this place to which I belong was taken away from me by the earth and the grass and the way things just are.