home and away

July 12, 2020

It was the first apartment that we’d seen that I could imagine our life in. The children would share a room, and there was space enough to accommodate everything we owned. I imagined Jason and I sitting on the roof terrace after the children had gone to bed. There were red tulips stained into the glass windows, and a beautiful old stair case with grand posts. There was a working fire place. Most important of all, the apartment felt comfortable. Familiar, even. The bathrooms reminded me of my grandparent’s bathrooms in Florida, and the wall-to-wall beige carpeting was decidedly nostalgic, also. It was the carpet that sold the apartment to the kids. On our first visit, they all jumped on it like they were bouncing on the moon. We’ve since stained it with wine, coffee and toothpaste. And Jason and I have indeed spent a hundred hours on the roof. The fireplace was where I’d sit every evening in the winter months listening to Bruce Springsteen. Never could we have anticipated quite how much time we’d spend within these four walls, that all five of us would quarantine in this bright and comfortable apartment, and that the living room would double as a classroom, pottery studio, home office, gymnasium and playground for almost five months. The neighbourhood, a twenty minute walk from ours, has none of the grit, character and warmth of South Annex, but it’s been thoroughly convenient. I’ve enjoyed the local gardens and beautiful homes, and most recently, we’ve all been grateful for our proximity to one of Toronto’s loveliest ravines. Our landlady is an avid gardener, and to be surrounded by her lavender, orange blossom and peonies, has truly been a pleasure. What I have loved the most, are all the trees that surround us. To be in the heart of a city, especially of late, and to feel like we’re in the woods, has been golden. I could stay here forever, but that’s how I feel about most places I grow roots in. Which come to think of it, may be everywhere I go.

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