Between the ages of five and twelve, I lived with my parents and my sister in a little yellow house on the corner of Spring Street and Pear Street. I loved that house.
I loved its sunny color and the little green apron of a front yard. I loved that it was perched at the top of two hills and that it had a little bubbling spring out back. Long before we lived in the house, someone had built a stone wall to enclose the spring; and the stones had grown mossy and protective over the years. I loved that little spring. We once filled it with gold fish, and they grew to be longer than my hand. That spring seemed like it had its own special kind of magic.
My bedroom, in the little yellow house, had a window in the closet. The window was shaped like a hexagon, and it made the house look like it was winking at passersby. It didn't make sense to most people that my closet had a window; but it made sense to me. It was the perfect place to sit and read, or draw, or cut out paper dolls. The closet was quiet and private, a place to think and dream while sunlight flooded through the window and warmed the hardwood floors.
Last week, my seventh grade students were reading and writing about the meaning of home. While discussing a short section of a text about a young girl who was forced to leave her home, one of my students said, "When you grow up in your home, it's part of you. It's hard to leave yourself behind." I couldn't help but think of the house where I grew up. After all these years, I guess I'm still a little homesick for that yellow house; and sometimes I even miss the little girl I was when I lived there.