I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this topic. I should explain.
We are renting. We used to have a house, which the bank owned and we were supposedly paying off, but we sold it and moved overseas for fourteen months, spending much of our equity in the process. Yes, we know, it was silly and impulsive and whatever. It was great for us as a family and great for our kids and we’re okay with it so, okay.
Anyway, we’re renting and our landlord recently sent around surveyors to measure the block of land and all that stuff that they do. We spoke to him at that stage and he said it was nothing to worry about. Well, a few months later (of course) we get a letter in the mail from the council, just letting us know as a resident of ———- Street, that there is a proposed development at Number…… hang on a sec, that’s us! So, this time when we contact the landlord he tells us there’s still nothing to worry about. He won’t have the money for ages to carry out the development and “no, no, no, don’t worry” – that your lease is expiring we’ll just keep it month by month after that and I promise to give you two months notice. Well, we kinda trust him, kinda. He provided us a written contract to give us this much notice when the lease expires and we feel that he will and he’s a pretty chilled landlord so, okay, it’s a rental. We may be in a position to buy a new house when we get kicked out of this one, we may not but we’ll deal with it.
The thing is, I feel sad. It’s actually a lovely old house. Sure, the landlord did a seriously dodgy job of “renovating” it fairly recently and it needs redoing at some point. It needs rewiring. The previous tenants used it for growing very large amounts of marijuana and it needed some refitting just prior to us moving in so it’s had some dodgy history. The thing is though, it is a lovely old house. It still has some of the original features like the gorgeous, gorgeous ceilings and the little leadlight windows high in the side walls of some of the main rooms. It’s charming. I really disagree with demolishing houses just so you can split the land in half and build two new pieces of crap. I’m not saying I don’t like new houses. New houses, designed with some real integrity and a sense of the era in which we are currently living can be amazing. This is not what he wants to build. He wants to build pieces of hideous crap that he can sell on for a quick profit. It ruins the character of the area and it’s just crap.
So, he wants to build a piece of crap, and demolish this nice old house, fine. There’s a demand for it. The new houses will sell. It’s up to him. But I wonder about this house. As I’ve already mentioned, this house has had some dodgy history. I also believe, though, after having lived in it, that it must’ve had some marvelous history. It’s an old house. People have lived and loved and possibly died in this house. They have been happy and sad. What I feel most of all from it is an immense sense of the positive.
I’m not claiming that there is any tangible evidence of this, but as soon as I walked into the place. As soon as we walked into it, we both felt that it was a really positive place to be. I was around 28 weeks pregnant with Grub, we had been home in Oz for two weeks and were desperate to find a place to live. We weren’t so desperate to find somewhere, however, that we had been able to accept living in any of the shithole’s we had previously inspected. This place, though, just felt right. And it needed to feel really right. We were planning the homebirth of our beautiful Grub and I needed to know we were gonna have what felt like a home for me to give birth in.
We made the right choice. This house has been a really comfortable home. We had our amazing homebirth and our Grub began her life here. I really feel though, that beyond what my happy, insane family brings to the house. The house itself contains a sense of peace and comfort. A sense of calm and homeyness and happiness. What happens to all the positive energy contained within these walls when this house is flattened?
I think I came to thinking about this for selfish reasons. After Grub was born here, this place has become kinda sacred to our family. I feel sad about it’s impending demise. I’ve joked to Beefcake that I will request a few floorboards from the spot where Grub was born – buy them from the landlord if I have to (I actually wasn’t joking)- in an attempt to capture some of what is special about this house for us. I can’t save a little bit of every spot in the house though, (obviously) and it wouldn’t really help if I could. The sum of all the things this place is and has been over the many decades that it has stood on this land will still be lost when it is demolished.
I just really wonder. I’m sure we’ve all felt a sense of positive or negative energy upon entering a building or a space. If that is actually a thing, where will that thing go when this house is gone?