When I was a teenager, Amy Grant was my favourite singer. I had a huge collection of her albums and music books as well. I used to sit at the piano and belt them out after school when no one was home. One of my favourite songs (from “Lead me on”) was “If these walls could speak”:
If these old walls could speak
Of things that they remember well,
Stories and faces dearly held,
A couple in love
Livin’ week to week,
Rooms full of laughter,
If these walls could speak…
In less than two weeks, our family will leave behind our lovely little house with the big backyard. I am thrilled that our children will soon have their own room, and we will have space for the million or so musical instruments that they keep bringing home. But I am sad to leave this corner house where my younger son T. was born, where my children learned to ride bikes, where where we hosted so many slumber parties and dinner parties and birthday parties.
If these…Hallowed halls could talk,
These would have a tale to tell
Of sun goin’ down and dinner bell,
And children playing at hide and seek
From floor to rafter,
If these halls could speak.
These days I sit in the garden and soak in the sound of the birds, and the way the sun comes through the trees. I try to memorize the way the Lady’s Mantle looks at the edge of the shade garden and how blue Globe Thistles are so pretty, scattered among the daisies. I remember the soccer games, the hula hoops, the time we enlisted the help of all the kids–even E. who had barely learned to walk–to move our shed from one side of the yard to the other.
If these old fashioned window panes were eyes,
I guess they would have seen it all –
Each little tear and sigh and footfall,
And every dream that we came to seek
Or followed after,
If these walls could speak.
Moving is a grand adventure, a time for celebration, and an incredibly luxury. And yet, it is also bittersweet. My garden–a living, breathing space–cannot come along. We will leave behind these walls that have seen toddlers grow into preteens, listened while A. learned to play the bagpipes in the dining room, stood by while brothers and sisters argued over whose turn it was in the bathroom.
Yes, if these walls could speak they would have stories to tell. I hope they would also wish us well, remind us that God will go with us wherever travel, and send us on our way with the assurance that new walls–and new memories–await us.