Every house has its own soundtrack. I am so in tune with mine that I don’t even notice it, but if the house were silenced, it would lose its character. Our furniture and belongings change, yet the pipes running through our walls still make their customary greetings on cold mornings as they warm the naked air. The central heating’s groans wake my sluggish mind and force me to turn my attention toward my uniform, which is balanced on the grooves of the radiator.

Up the stairs is a ribbed green carpet that leads to the landing that runs the length of the house. Though their footsteps are muffled, I know whose feet are treading each stair, and in which direction they are heading. I can picture clearly the movements and motions that make those sounds.

Each creak of the floor and each squeak of a faucet—I know them by heart. If anything, our house is too noisy. The walls are too thin and you can hear almost everything. A sudden clang can startle a visitor, while I remain unfazed. I feel it would be rude to remind them not to talk so loud as sound travels very well here.

I live so much of my life in this house, and one day I just won’t. Nearly every day of my life has been about finding my way back here—the same twists in the car, the same uphill climb, the same solitary gravel paths. Choosing which route, quickest or slowest. Alone or with company. Keys in hand or fumbling for them in my bag. Delaying the last few steps or not being able to get in the front door fast enough.

As always, I am stunned by the passing of time. My journeys remind me just how quickly every day goes by, and how this house will be silent one day, because I won’t be here to hear it. ♦