This used to be my kitchen.
Where I sit, I’d stand in front of the stove, stirring mac n’ cheese and other minimal meals.
Behind me, I’d wash dishes in the sink, overlooking the neighbor’s yard and the path that rainbows project across the sky.
Where my dog lays behind me, I’m sure there was a dog before. Always underfoot.
Tucked beneath cabinets that still tower out of reach, the fridge once stood ready to open its doors and treat me when I got home.
And here, with just a 90-degree swivel of my stool, a kitchen table, a meeting space, a gathering place once spanned the laminate floors. For playing Legos and Play-doh. For rolling out pies and sugar cookies. To topple a chair at Thanksgiving. To scoop a toddler from the floor minus the corner of a tooth.
The window on the far wall once looked out on the wide world beyond. Ignored for all the commotion that came from this side of the door.
And now, it’s my making space.
Now, where I sit, my stool stands perched in front of a desk that looks out past a screen or sewing machine.
Behind me now, the curtains stay closed to avoid a casting glare.
Now, it’s Ethan who lays at my feet where I’m sure it used to be Maverick. This shepherd smaller and sharper.
Tucked beneath cabinets now, bookshelves fill the space, holding volumes that once belonged to another generation, another version of me, classroom and bedroom libraries deconstructed.
Without a swivel of this seat sits a place to write books and slice stories. To teach and learn from in the midst of a pandemic. To fade into the background while video games play on the TV across the room. To settle bills from. To repair seats for porch swing mornings from.
And the window on the far wall, still looking out on a wide world beyond. Now it gets my full attention with a chair positioned beneath its sill, doubling as a barre in the late afternoons, holding me steady as I plié and pivot my way well past a 52-week streak.
Where once was a kitchen is now this space. Just for me.