In my green woolen cape and clunky winter boots, I tore down Main Street this afternoon, when word reached me through a neighbor that the front door of Silvia’s house was open and there was a truck parked in the drive. Not knowing what to expect, I ran past the little shops of the village in a blur of greeting, following the side of the road along a muddy footpath, hoping upon hope they were not clearing out the house. Hoping I would catch someone, if they were. Hoping nothing would be lost – just hoping.
Huffing and puffing with a stitch in my side, I arrive to workmen repairing the roof of the garage. They stop their work and peer down at me – a seemingly deranged lady asking to go into the derelict house. They can’t grant permission, but if I wait a bit, I can ask their boss when he returns. I wait, eyeing the open front door, the random piles of books and papers beckoning my impatience.
As I wait, I know I won’t walk through the front door today. I know they can’t let me in the house. I’ve tried the proper channels before; called plenty of offices in Texas and Ohio where I’ve logged my name and number in files. The people I’ve talked with have been perfectly nice and even shown interest in Silvia’s story, but the red tape of a house repossessed keeps the front door locked.
And so it remains, but while I was waiting, I discovered a little slip of white just beyond the edge of receding snow – a snowdrop bending with the breeze in the cold damp remnants of Silvia’s garden. The first bloom, so hopeful of spring, and as delicate and precious as the written words abandoned inside the house – for now.