A House You Can See Through

On my way home from work last night, I stop by a house in town to drop off a borrowed survey (another long strange story…)

I’d never been to the end of that narrow one-lane road built on a ridge over a lake. The owner’s car is a Subaru the color of mine, but years older. As I walk towards the house, I realize I can see right through the house. The walls from driveway to lake are all nearly all windows.

A breeze moves through the trees. Down the hillside, the lake washes against the rocky shore. He invites me into the open house, where everything is wood and glass, not at all slick and polished, but clean and well-used. The house was built just after World War II by his family, and it’s been loved dearly. He’s on his way back to Europe, and I wish him safe travels.

When I leave, I keep thinking of this house where the sunlight washes right through. I can’t help but wonder if that’s perhaps why he’s so calm. Maybe it’s nothing more than coincidence. But living in a house of wood built by your grandfather, where the sunlight streams in all day, surely would round off anyone’s corners. It’s a good, bright spot — this quiet place.

Hardwick, Vermont