I am lucky enough to live in a big, bright apartment in a fairly quiet neighbourhood just outside the city. My neighbours are mostly quiet, my building superintendent is lovely and I feel safe and secure inside the unit that I call home. But it’s huge.
Daisy, my loveable Beagle, and I cohabit a spacious two-bedroom apartment. In the run of an average week, I might pop my head into the second bedroom once (twice if I’m cleaning or need something), and I rarely use my 8-seater dining room table at mealtimes, but sit for an hour or two working at my laptop. I park my ass in the exact same spot on my couch every time I sit down to watch television or read. While I love my apartment and the neighbourhood, and even though Daisy is surprisingly good company for a dog who chews expensive shoes and pees on the floor, I often felt so incredibly alone within the walls of my place. Even with all of my furniture set up, paintings on the walls, music turned on and candles lit my apartment never felt cozy. It was just too big. Empty, even.
But, for the last 24 hours, my heart and my home have never felt so full.
After a fantastic weekend with our families in Cape Breton, Red and I packed my car – complete with F, lots of toys and that big-eared thing I call the dog – and we started the trek for Halifax. After arriving at my apartment, the process of settling in began: suitcases unpacked, beds made, laundry put away, groceries bought. Within an hour, my living room floor was peppered with toy cars and trains, crayons and colouring books were strewn across my dining room table and giggles could be heard from one end of the hallway to the other.
My apartment has never felt so small and cozy.
As I made my coffee this morning, I could hear the gentle breaths from F’s bed, the occasional snort from the dog and the sound of Red rolling over, the sheets rustling around him. Standing alone in the dark I realized that my coffee has never tasted so good and being tired has never felt so rejuvenating. As always, the smallest things have the greatest impact in our day-to-day life.
I know that when F goes back to Chateau Grammy after a week with me, my apartment will feel big and hollow again but my heart will still be overflowing…
…and that crayon may never come off the chairs.