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As I look out my bedroom window,
as I watch the wind displace the leaves
as it gusts through the branches of the trees
and makes telephone cables
and power-lines sway from side to side with every blow,
as it seems as if every leaf is now well on the way
to changing colour for the season,
I look down to the street below
and I see a little boy riding his bike
on the pavement outside my house
wearing a big coat and a bobble-hat;
and instantly I feel a wave of something come over me,
as if the winds of time were blowing in unison
with the winds of the world outside, and taking me back
to a time, to an autumn day like this one, when I was a kid-
a time when I loved to play outside with my friends,
and my sister Clare,
and play a ‘catch me if you can-type of game’ called “tag”
in which I never minded being the one who was “it”.

I used to love riding my bike;
I used to love exploring the great place where I lived;
I used to love looking out my window
on a dark, rainy night, and being in awe of the sound of thunder,
and energized by the sight of a lightning-strike;
I used to love playing hide and seek-
and I swear no one could ever find me,
nor think of the right place where I was hid.

I had a very happy childhood;
I had everything a child could ever want;
I had so much love bestowed upon me,
and I was taught so many lessons and I learned so many skills
from my Mum and Dad- from appreciating the value
of the smallest of things, and the briefest of moments,
to the importance of hard work,
and knowing the best way to cut wood.

I remember smiling a lot when I was a child,
I remember laughing, creating, watching,
constantly asking questions, and learning from everyone,
I remember times when I used to sit quietly,
I remember times when I used to run wild,
I remember having so much fun.
I remember the good times, and the bad;
I remember the people I knew and who knew me who just suddenly died,
I remember the times when I had to say goodbye.
I remember all the times when I felt so happy
I thought my heart was going to explode;
I remember the tears that came after a fall,
and the times when I didn’t know what was going on,
and I felt sad.

The world has changed.
I have slowly, but surely, grown up.
The home I have known all my life
feels like a picture that is constantly being reframed.
I am outwardly very different from the boy I was-
from my shoe-size, to my likes and dislikes,
to my hair colour, and hair cut.
Inside I am still the same-
I feel and I know that, even now.
Inside I am under no illusion in my belief
that in everything I do, and to everyone I meet, I make a difference;
I don’t always know why, in what way, or how,
but I do feel, and I have always felt,
like everything that I was doing had a purpose and meant something-
even if I was writing a story, or painting a picture,
even as a child I knew that there was so much more to be seen
than could ever be seen, and that no matter the dark clouds
that sometimes swirled around above your head
there would always be something to have hope for,
that there is always a silver-lining to everything,
and that there would one day be a great,
beautiful, and bright future.

Looking at my own reflection in the glass of my window,
as the sun shines on my face,
I look into my own eyes-
the eyes that have seen thousands of sunrises,
the eyes that have seen so much beauty, hope, and inspiration,
in their time, and which have imprinted on them images
that I will take to the grave,
of sights and faces that nothing could ever erase.
I look at my own reflection,
and I see the boy that I was,
and the joy and the hope in his eyes, in my eyes;
I look at my own reflection, and I see the man who I am,
the boy who I am always going to be,
who still lives in the place, the house, the home,
with the memories he treasures,
and will always remember and return to,
in the middle house of three, on Fair field rise.

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When is an empty house not an empty house?
When it is filled with memories.
When you walk into a room
and the emotions, feelings, and love, for a moment in time
reform in your mind from every corner, like a scent on a breeze.

When is an empty house not an empty house?
When it is filled with music.
When the walls and the windows of your home
echo, reverberate, and bring to life the music of your mind and your heart
in time with every clock and accentuating every tick.

When is an empty house not an empty house?
When it is filled with light.
When the golden energy waves of the suns ocean
flood your home from every window and door;
or when a full-moon hovers above us
and welcomes in the change from day into night.

When is an empty house not an empty house?
When every step that we take up stairs, over floorboards,
into the recesses of our home, reminds us that it is alive,
moving, and talking to us all the time-
when even in an empty house we can feel an energy all around us,
as if stemming from an unseen dimension that exist to entwine.

When is an empty house not an empty house?
When you are in it.
When a house becomes your home,
and means more to you than a place that you choose to inhabit.

When is an empty house not an empty house?
When you stand in the living room of your home
and you say out-loud, but to no one in particular,
that this is the place you want to return to every night,
and perhaps may one day want to share with a spouse-
then you know, then you feel,
that this is not, that this has never been, that this will never be,
an empty house.

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