A suitcase can be a strange thing. At first thought it is nothing more than an ordinary household item, dull and often forgotten about. It sits collecting dust under a bed or in the garage. Abandoned till the spark of travel ignites and then it is remembered again. Yet on second thought, a suitcase can be so much more.
She packs and with each fold she strums the music to her soul. With each fold and crease she hears the soft melody play. Her small hands turn over and over across the cotton, across the silk and she feels the music hum with each motion of her hands. Like the solitary conductor of an orchestra. She stands in her kitchen. Suitcase open on the dining room table and she folds. Her hands do not quicken in rhythm and do not hasten in pace. For this is her constant. The music is her ticking metronome.
The house sits in cold silence. The walls are heavy in their silent vigil. The sunlight reaches only as far as the window pane, never daring to come in. Shadows do not dance across the floor and the breeze dares not to exhale. The foreboding is kept suspended as she folds. Her hands smooth over the creases and check in the corners with diligence. As if the silent melody would fade if she did not.
The suitcase is worn and tattered. The pale blue leather it once boasted now only a crackled memory. There are no scuff marks. No airline tags. No scent of foreign places and no lure of foreign lands. No the suitcase is empty in its existence. It is a hollow escape into dreams that once were. The tan leather handle is smooth and oiled from the countless times she ran her hand across it. The countless times she held onto it tight, heaving in tears and out of breath, finding her only strength as she held onto that handle.
The melody strums and she folds. Her hands smooth across the old cotton. The cotton that is still crisp and starched despite its time. Her hands linger over the silk. The silk that wears thin with each pass of her hands, each repetitive, ceaseless fold. For this melody has surpassed its encore. Instead on most days the sweet melody it began as now beats and thunders like a damning drum. She drops the cotton and the silk and crumbles to the ground, hands covering her ears, blocking out the deafening noise.
We each have our own suitcase. A suitcase of dreams. A suitcase of hopes. A suitcase of what could have been. It sits in the corner, watching over our every move. Being dragged along the paces of the life we allow ourselves to fall through. For some the suitcase is heavy and burdensome. For others the suitcase is light and carefree. For some, they do not even know they drag their suitcase along behind them.
At the moment my suitcases are stacked high. I imagine them to be vintage and pinterest worthy, shades of pastel and tan. Some of my suitcases are neatly packed and patiently waiting. While some are overflowing, bulging at the seams and spilling into a disorganised mess.
Every now and again I catch a glimpse of the stack of suitcases, from the corner of my eye, in a paused moment of my day. Catching me off guard and in that instant I stop. Maybe that is when I too hear the sweet melody and my ticking metronome.
What is in your suitcase?
Conversations over Coffee returns Thursday July 30, 2015.
Conversations with Coming Home ~ everyone is welcome.