I visited Zurich last week and found myself accidentally in love, with an old home. With its garden, actually. With the bench there, where I plan to spend the rest of my days sitting, writing.
Sure, to be fair, the home, the castle, it’s in disrepair. The garden is overgrown, the basement full of ghosts and antiques, of mold and precious wet cardboard and chandeliers missing crystals and so much rusted metal, so much cracked paint. But, the steps- the glorious steps- which led to nowhere but a better view of the sunset over the lake, and the trees are almost blue from way up here
and the world is so quiet.
The limbs of the weeping willow hang so carefully over the entrance to the garden that it’s clear from the first moment: you are safe here. I don’t know why, with my absolute lack of a green-thumb, with my hatred of dirt and uphill climbs and cracked paint, this house called to me so. But, it’s as haunting to me as the overturned wooden rocking horse I spied through the cobwebbed window. This decrepit box of junk has stolen my heart.
It would be so much more simple if it were a man, or if it were about a man. The man who took me there had no intention of showing me the house, but I fell for it from afar, at first sight, I was entranced by the willow tree and already singing Camelot show-tunes in my head. Follow me, follow me, follow me…
Perhaps, in the end, I just miss my mother. I just know that she would have trespassed into the garden the same way. She’d say how you could stand on the steps and sing, how you could descend the stairs into nothing but a pile of overgrowth.
She left me to sit in the weeds, to be overgrown. I don’t know how to love anyone that clings to me with anything less than the determination of ivy.
This home, this castle, the back corner has stone once so overrun with ivy it ate into into the cement, scratching it away. I was raised surrounded by love so lush, so green, so gorgeous, that it hid its mark.
I am a building, bitten by weeds, gnawed at by beautiful green things. I am covered in scars that reveal I was once desired, once clung to. I am still standing. I am a bit crumbled, a bit painted over. I am full of meaningless junk and chipped paint and my mind is nothing but a stone staircase which descends into nowhere, but it offers a better view of the sunset.
I found my own reflection it the house, it seems. In the wishing well in the backyard, covered by a dirty green tarp. I long for it to be loved. Who knew I could be so tall? Who knew I could weep so beautifully? That I could build a fence so ornate it’s both inviting and terrifying?
My god, what an object in disrepair it seems I have been.
My god, what a gorgeous lush thing the warm weather has invited me to become.