My wise and wonderful friend Beth has been with me since the days before houses, husbands and kids. She regularly offers up witticisms and simple truths about the winding paths of our lives and the people with whom we share the journey.
When we bought the blue house with the red barn Beth shared in our excitement. She understood I saw the property as a place to relax into a life that is often more hectic than we imagined, an opportunity to spend real time with friends and family, particularly our two girls, Faye and Charlotte.
Every parent of a teenager knows the quickening pace of the years, the tiny beautiful and heart-seering milestones that mark the passage out of childhood. The eye rolls, exasperated sighs, and teenage ennui. No pretty little house with a water view is likely to change that for the time being.
At 17, Charlotte is the more restless of the two, anxious to finish high school and chart a life that takes her beyond the city of her birth and the confines of her family. She has always possessed a uniquely Charlotte perspective, the workings of her busy mind kept mostly to herself or shared sparingly with a wry humour beyond her years.
It was Beth who long ago characterized her better than I could. Charlotte is like a butterfly, she said, if you stay very still eventually she will alight. And it will be worth it.
I have no illusions that Charlotte will spend much time at the new/old place, at least not for the foreseeable future. But I will be here, patient and still, waiting for her to land.