So this is it. This is the house where I spent my weekends, summers and all the holidays. When I was a child, it looked differently - and like most of the houses built in the village in the second half of the 20th century. The exterior was white, the roof was made of grey metal shingles, and there were black, shiny rectangular tiles along both sides of the windows. The white facade was also a bit sparkly and rough to touch... I must have a photo somewhere at home. I'll scan it next time I'm there.
I remember the times when somehow all the women ended up in my Grandma's room at the ground floor - this had always been the heart of the house. The atmosphere there was like nowhere else. We sat around the table, drinking coffee or enjoying a moment of peace after a good meal she had treated us to, and we talked. For the love of it, I can't remember what we talked about, but our conversations always climaxed in an uncontrollable laughter - we laughed so hard we teared up and couldn't continue with the story we were telling. I haven't laughed like that ever since I moved. There was this unique atmosphere, synergy, if you will, created at that moment when my Grandma, my aunt, my mom, my sister and me were together that transcended everything that was less important than our pure and happy selves in that very moment.
I have gained a lot since leaving my home - new experiences, new knowledge, my own family, living in different countries, even trying out different versions of myself, and that's inevitable for a lot of people, but by leaving the nest one necessarily loses that which they cherish so deeply not only in retrospect, but when it was happening, too - that warm, sincere connection to the most immediate of their predecessors - the women who kept the family alive and bonded over decades during and after the men passed away.