Monday Rewrite: The House on the Edge

She lived on the edge of town, almost so far out that folk never quite knew where they were when they stumbled into her cottage. When I say stumbled it wasn’t as if people weren’t looking for her, they were, but in finding her the place appeared to be in a different place every time. They came with their grievances, their angst, their crises, and their distress. Their longings, wishes and dreams. And they told her all about these, because, after all, she was so far removed from their daily lives that there was no danger of her passing their cries onto others and thereby embarrassing them. Some folks poured out their souls and then wandered away again, some of them in mid-sentence, others brought the same pleas day after day. Some came once a year, others once a week, some ten times a day. Some hurtled in and out as if the house were on fire. Some came to shake their fists. In anger, frustration, sadness or all three.  And some discovered that, as they talked and cried and muttered and sang, somehow their perspective changed, and it was as if they had found a solution, or perhaps not a solution, but another step, another thought to lead them on. Some found answers of course. But many found something else. Comfort, strength, direction, a smile in their pain. And some found that the silence was in itself a kind of healing balm. So many people, so many visits, in so many different ways. And she said relatively little, perhaps nothing at all, and yet she said so much. A different kind of language. Some claimed she was not there at all, others that she had been there once, but had now moved away. But even some of those people found themselves stumbling across her doorstep, their questions and convictions in their hands, like a flurry of toys and discarded clothes gathered up from the carpet of a messy house. She lived on the edge of town, almost so far that folk never quite knew where they were when they stumbled across her. And she loved everyone who came. Though the cost to her was great at times. The burdens of these people heavy. So, she was grateful for those, often children, who came with their laughter and jokes and smiles and discoveries. Offering these silly and sublime treasures in their heady and jumbled conversations.

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