Making a New Life Out of the Old

popsicle stick house
popsicle stick house

We just moved in. We feel temporary. I feel transient. I'm nobody here, just me with all the pieces of my past, available to assemble at will to fashion another new life.

Moving shifts the deep ocean of your emotional and tangible past, turning up layers you'd forgotten. Fond memories often resurface juxtaposed with, say, a half-dried out canister of car wax. Because when you're packing the house with a one-year-old around, you just sort of scrape up floor samples of all the chaos around you and put it in a box.

Toddler wanted to build a house out of these popsicle sticks I found, and there was no convincing him otherwise, so during Baby's nap, we did. The popsicle sticks are special to me because they each feature the name of one student I had my last semester of teaching. They are leftover from my the days before my job was eliminated in post-recession budget cuts in 2009. I loved teaching, but moreso, I loved my students.

As I pull out each stick, I read the mostly Hispanic names one by one and picture each of the faces. They were each special to me, and I was surprised how easily I remembered them, and how many. One by one, we glued them into a new house - a piece of the past made new and purposeful. The little stick house will sit in my lighted display cabinet.

That afternoon, I read Cannon the Three Little Pigs for the first time:

I built my house of sticks I built my house of twigs With a hey-diddle-diddle I play on the fiddle And dance all kinds of jigs

{we're all temporary but have the chance to be meaningful when we come together, despite our scattered past}

Maybe that second little pig had it right.