It never seizes to amaze me how quickly a cozy, lived-in home can turn into an empty shell of one. I’ve moved enough times to know this strange transformation not only changes how a place looks with the obvious disappearance of pictures and paintings from the walls and furniture too, but also how it sounds. As I was walking through our half-empty flat yesterday, I noticed how the echo was different. Sound seemed to bounce off the walls with a newfound energy; a melancholic if soothing energy for me, an undoubtedly invigorating one for the couple that will move in in a few weeks’ time.
And just like that our home has seized to be. A few days of frantic packing and we were ready to move out this morning. For the sake of sheer nostalgia we’ve decided to keep our mattress here for two more nights and sleep in our shell-of-a-home as we clean it up, so it’s ready to take on a new couple, a new home; one that, no doubt, will look and feel entirely different from ours.
But this shell doesn’t make me sad. Nostalgic, perhaps. A little melancholic, definitely. But somehow not sad. It’s been an amazing flat to live in and these three years have been some of the best of our lives. The strange noise that the gas heater makes as we crank it up in the winter, the insanely creaky floors, the beautiful old plaster cast ceilings, and countless summer evenings spent chilling on the roof terrace… I’d be crazy not miss this, but somehow it seems right to move on, move out and give this shell for someone else to fill with their life, with their energy.
A home is where the heart is, no doubt. But it’s also where life settles for a time and then aches to move on. It sheds extra layers as things are thrown out, and then seeks to settle again, starting the cycle all over.
Goodbye Geigergasse, it’s been real.
PS. One of my all-time favorite songs that fits the mood just right.