about a key

There is a key on one of the active key rings to my household and the door it opens is no longer there.
But once, it opened the door to a small house in the middle of a quiet street on a wide block. On early summer mornings, the sprinklers in the neighboring lawns would awaken and chatter across the green grass.
The suburban streets were lined with trees and the all of the homes were neatly kept with unique landscaping.
This is where I lived for several years.
I learned there. I grew and I evolved.

I landed my first real job while living in that house. I bought my first car while I was there and through encouragement, I went back for my high school diploma, which something I thought I could never do.
I said goodbye to old friends and hello to new ones. And yes, I had to say goodbye to loved ones too, and I remember their names while lighting a candle.

The journey from what I was into who I became began here, in a modest one story home with a basement, which was owned by my Aunt and lived in by her and my cousin.
I keep the key to that house because after I moved the last of my belongings, my Aunt said, “Keep it. This way you know you’ll always have a place to come home to.”

The dictionary defines the word, “Home” as a place where one’s affections are centered. That is why I keep that key to the door that no longer exists. I keep this key to remind me of the lessons I learned and the love I received.

I keep it to remember the smell of home cooked meals and the sound of supportive voices. And while, yes, the house is still there, the door has changed. I assume the new homeowner changed the interior. They probably updated the kitchen and the bathrooms. I am sure they replaced the carpeting, painted walls, and found new window treatments to grace the windows on the front of the house.
However, the fact remains I grew in that placed.

Like anyone, I feel lost at times. And like most, I wish there were certain people around to guide me the way they once did. I wish I could hear my Aunt’s voice and feel her hand on my shoulder as she assured, “You’re gonna be okay.”
It would be nice to walk into her kitchen (exactly as it was) and smell the food she prepared

I have this key on one of the active key chains to my house. I use it to remind myself that there will always be a home for me. There will always be a place where my affections are centered, and as I grow older, that center grows larger.
As I grow older, the lessons I learned at that house make more sense to me.
Or maybe my level of awareness has changed (or matured) and I grew tired of doing the same thing while expecting different results.

Change occurs in tiny movements, and as my world pivots, and as I adjust for the change, I need to remember my ability to overcome. I need to continue by any means necessary because anything else is not an option.
I need to remember this: Success depends upon determination, and so long as I remain undetermined, my success will only match the energy I put out.

That’s why I keep that key.
I keep it as a reminder to keep going….
no matter what

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