For my Dad, who is another year wiser today.

Thank you for your love and lessons, Daddy.

Happy Birthday. 

Houses. I think they were the 

first thing I ever watched grow up.

The process of it all…



I spent my childhood on a small + lovely dead-end road 

with a smaller cal-de-sac sprouting off it. 

On this budding road were plenty of open lots

where houses were continuously erected during summer months. 

My dad was the one who’d take me — 

the twilight breaking pink and mauve on our faces,  

we’d stroll over in the balmy, summer air. 

— to watch them grow

the houses. 


The beginning felt, impactful; the way I imagine birth does. 

My small self would peer over the edge into the massive emptiness of 

foundations dug, not yet filled;

works in progress, empty with possibility. 


A week would pass, and beams rose up 

a skeleton — a structure slowly emerging. 

I’d weave in and out of the two-by-fours who’d eventually be filled with insulation and drywall. 

Jumping easily between the dividers, room to room

boundaries, still so permeable. 

They were naked. Transparent, almost.

From the master bedroom you could see the kitchen, and from the kitchen the bathroom.

And we ambled through fledgling structures, kicking up the gravel, 



What could they become? 


It was marvelous, 

to see something so sturdy, massive, solid -

in it’s vulnerable stage.

What Happens As We Grow | Enchanted by Sunlight

And yet a few weeks later we'd return to floors installed, roofs intact 

only waiting for the appliances and families to arrive.

Eventually there’d be a front door, and then there was no other way in. 

You couldn't see their progress anymore

it was reserved for special eyes only. 

Closed and locked up.


I don't think this was ever a lesson he meant to instill in me.. But nonetheless, it stuck. 

It was the first time I saw that, 

as things grew they needed to be more protective of the things that grow inside them.


It's easy to be vulnerable when were empty and innocent. 

It's easy to let others explore us when we're only full of potential and not a past. 

It’s this lesson I am so grateful for, 

to know the wonder of exploring possibility, of witnessing progression

to know that who and what we allow in matters. 

And that sometimes 

we have to open the windows, the doors, and become more permeable again— 

like the way we were as children.