The house I’m living in was built by a sweet couple almost forty years ago. After her husband died, the wife moved north to be with family. With no one interested in purchasing the home, it sat abandoned before falling into a dilapidated state. On more than one occasion, neighbors confided that they secretly planned to burn this house down because of how terrible it looked. It sat like this for several years until an investor purchased it for a small amount. He made huge alterations, bringing back its former beauty.
It is at this point that we enter the story. For me, it was love at first sight: stone facing, a huge yard, mature trees with branches arching grandly over the house, a fireplace (yes, in Florida), and large bedrooms. We’ve been living here for over two years now and have begun some of our own improvements that an aging house needs. It is delightful to dream and invest and make memories in this house, but I cannot escape the truth that I will never really own this home.
One day, whether we move or pass away, this home will belong to someone else for them to make memories in and to alter according to their own desires. Nevertheless, even they can make no permanent claim. Because, though a stream of owners could each own and make their imprint on this home, this house will last beyond our short, physical lives.
This impermanence is humbling—particularly as we do the hard work of life and pursuing our purpose.
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