Today I’ll be continuing to move “stuff” from the townhouse I’ve been renting for the last year, into a real-life HOUSE. I always knew the last year was transitory, so I never became attached to this place.

Still, moving reminds me of one of the haiku I wrote for The Red Kimono. This haiku encapsulates Sachi’s feelings as she leaves her home for the last time before being relocated to an internment camp during World War II:

My house is empty
But memories will remain
Echoes in my heart.

I wrote this haiku based on my own memories of leaving my house in Tulsa when I moved to Fayetteville in 2003.

tulsa house

I lived in this house for twenty years. It was the house where I raised my children. It was a part of me. I remember packing to move and finding an infant diaper tucked deep inside my linen closet. I remember feeling like my heart was breaking as I walked through the echoing rooms for the last time.

Jubie and BearThen, I lived at the farm for ten years. It, too, was filled with lots of memories, both happy and sad. When I packed my belongings after the divorce, I tried to focus on the future and not the past. But the memories had a hold of me, stubborn to let go. When I turned to say goodbye to Jubie and Bear in the backyard, again, I thought  my heart would break.

So, as I prepare for what may likely be my last move, I am thrilled to get the move over with and begin to make new memories–to make this house a home.


What are your memories of “home?” Can you describe it in a haiku? Please share it with us!

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11 Responses to Home

  1. in pile of leaves
    how many hidden stories …
    the sun’s warmth

  2. autumn wind …
    every single leaf sings
    own glory
    who knows about you
    and ever shining sun

  3. Oh Jan,

    I remember Sachi’s haiku. Even now, two days after reading The Red Kimono, I am back in the family’s home in CA right before everything happened.

    I enjoyed reading your blog and I’m sending happy housewarming wishes to you for your new home. It’s lovely and those walls are waiting to share gossip with your muse. 🙂


    • Jan Morrill says:

      Thank you, Kathleen. It’s the ultimate compliment that my book has stayed with you. You’re right–I very much look forward to this new house inspiring my muse! 🙂

  4. Steve says:

    Thanks for this post Jan. It was touching.

    My old home empties
    I carry things out, I leave
    The tree waves goodbye

    There’s a large, wide Live Oak outside the condominium I am leaving whose branches spread out over the street and across my roof. I can see it’s limbs from my bed in the morning. I liked to observe how the dawn light shown on the bark when I was up early. I could meditate looking, it’s sturdy presence comforted me greatly.  Somewhere I have a picture of my ex standing on its largest limb a couple of months after we’d first met. I remember praying from my bed gazing at its branches the morning after she left. I bought the place, which was kind of run down, in part because of that tree. It was majestic. Over the years it became a friend, comforting, ever present, enduring the weather and world alongside my own ups and downs. I want to say it contained me, stood guard near my front door, sheltered my place from harsh weather. I liked to stand beneath it when I was out with my cats and watch the smaller higher branches bob in the breeze. 

    Like any living thing it wasn’t all good. It had its negatives, it dumped its leaves on my back patio that I regularly had to sweep up, greedily took the sunlight from the grass that never grew well beneath it, and is the likely culprit behind the crack in the living room drywall. All relationships have a cost. 

     Now that I’m trying to sell my place, it’s insides are emptying, becoming a commodity I’m marketing. It is no longer my home but a house for sale.  But the tree, while part of the deal, will always be my friend. Though I don’t imagine myself coming back too often I like the idea that I might stop by and wave to it in a month or a year and recall how comforting it was throughout the 14 years that I lived beneath it. 

  5. Jan, we moved (in a week) from house we’d lived in for 28 years. It was filled with memories and beauty and it was only made easier by having to do it so quickly. I’ve been back there several times since but I won’t go past the house. I don’t want to see what it might be like now. I want to keep my good memories.

    Memory-filled walls
    Echoes of children’s laughter
    Now only heart-life


I love to read your comments, even more, your HAIKU!

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