By Patrick La Roque
How about the anatomic dissection of a life gone by? How about one last glance at a systematic deconstruction—40 years' worth of existence, tossed to the roadside in the end. This essay marks the end of a trilogy I never planned, preceded by Rains of March and, further back in our archives, Incoming.
Over two years have passed since that first story was published about an imminent storm on the horizon, the knowledge of a fast approaching tipping point threatening to throw all my sister and I knew overboard. But we had no idea. The thing about trials in life is that we survive, regardless of how difficult or impossible the task may be, because we're profoundly clueless: advance knowledge would send us cowering in a corner with our head between our legs. No, we only make it through once we're in the thick of it and have no other choice but to react.
On our last weekend before the final move we walked through the now overgrown grasses in our parent's extended backyard, picking wild strawberries, remembering the picnic table, the field, the garden and everything that used to be. Man, how we could run through this yard. We went on one last survey before it all dissapears—a new house will be built here, pushed up against the old one; exactly what our parents had prevented when they purchased this additional land. But people don't care about land anymore.
A few days later I came back on my own to oversee the final phase. After years of anguish, after months of forensic shredding and digging through our past, I walked through the now empty rooms and realized sadness had given way to elation. Freedom, finally. I realized these were nothing but things, that the sum total of who we are needs to reside in so much more than what we accumulate. And that however hard we try, ultimately everything is out of our control. We can only hope to make a dent in the universe through others.
There's no real legacy in the material.
Before leaving I took one last look at the house. The discarded furniture and piles of trash in the driveway headed for either charity, recycling or dumpsters. A once thriving body now dismembered...and ready for rebirth.