Four Walls

Delta Winds cover 2002Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Four Walls

Jennifer Hallum

This is the establishment of good news and bad. This is the locale of the ailments of the mind, the body, and the soul. This is the healing ground for all the troubles that knock on the door. This is the place I call home.

These are the days when there are coffee grounds in the bottom of the coffee cup and the cream is curdled. These are the days when the car battery is dead, and I think to myself it can't get any worse. Nevertheless, these are the days perpetual motion takes hold; I arrive late for work and the boss is out to get anyone who has a hair out of place. Money is tight, and I have three bills that are due tomorrow; it feels like this saga will never end. My breaking point is near, but I know relief is in sight. Secure surroundings await me. An immense peace and harmonious feeling leaps out from within when I see the front of my house. This is the place I call home.

Thoughts of joy race through my mind because I know I have a garden that needs tending to. There is nothing more soothing than the feel of warm dirt between my fingers as I work the earth. If it is the time of the year that Mother Nature does not permit working her grounds, I find tranquillity seeing the couch as I walk through the door. It is as if a warm tropical waterfall gently flows over me and washes the worries of the day downstream. I will settle into the couch where the plush pillows will absorb my sorrows. I wrap myself in an afghan that was knitted by Grandma; I can hear her loving voice reassuring me that everything will work out. Soon, I know my best friend will arrive with a smile to give to me. This is the place I call home.

These are the days when a letter arrives in the mail reading of prosperous outcomes, the phone rings with joyous words to be told, and the house is filled with beaming rays of sunlight. By my side (never in front, never behind) is my husband, my best friend, and my provider, all of whom are one. We share with each other in the merriment of the day. Looking around, I see my garden that I nurtured and tended to throughout the troubled times. The garden is bursting with life and life itself is blooming. Time is on my side. The worries of everyday life are non-existent. I feel revived and full of exuberant energy with every breath I take. I am breathing the freshness of life, shielded from the stress that has a tendency to consume. Wrapped around me is a sense of serenity and accomplishment. These are the days I look around and know that I have accomplished a healthy living environment for my garden, my love, and myself. This is the place I call home.

For all the days that fall in between the good and the bad, the days that just seem to exist, there still is a yearning and a pull to be at my sanctuary. When grocery shopping needs to be done and errands (that seem to be never ending) need to be taken care of, a tug this way and a tug that way, these are the days of the in between. They are neither good nor bad days, but I can sense something lurking, something deep down, something that is unknown. I feel within myself the ominous sound of a storm brewing, even though I can see that the sun is shining brightly. I feel clouded with confusion and cannot ignore that there is an insatiable feeling to find safety. I know that no harm can come from the place I am envisioning. Once I arrive at this place, the storm will be out to sea and the sun will continue to shine. Love calms all fears of what the storm may bring. This is the place I call home.