Constance – means steadfast, always, and forever.
I pass by you every day
In a hurry
On my way
You are always there, in the little yellow house on the busy corner waving to passersby from your porch. On the hottest days when the sun blares and the wind of cars rushing creates your only breeze, you wave. On the coldest days when the snow falls and only the street plows say hello back, you wave. You don’t know my name. I don’t know yours. But I count on your greeting as I go by. I imagine you, too, enjoy the company.
Your little yellowing house has seen a lot in its years, as you must have as well sitting on the corner of that busy intersection. Were you once in a field, a dirt road in the distance? Closer it moved as it grew wider and more solid, more permanent? Is that your story too? I often wonder what you were both like in your heyday. How the landscape, the world around you changed in your view, from up there. Has time sped up or slowed down from your rocker’s vantage point?
I went from an empty car to one filled with three little passengers as you waved the years by. Are you a mother like me? Did you always sit here and your mother before you? Did she sit right there and wave you off to school and welcome you home? Did you leave, live your life, and return to take up your mother’s tradition when she passed? Are you waving to her still?
To my surprise last week when I drove by, your house had no windows. The siding was painted in alarming yet joyous graffiti. You were not on the porch watching.
Today I drove by and only a frame of your home remained. Still, you were not there. Ever in silence as I passed, mourning your loss, your name I’ll never know. When I knew no one here, you waved a welcome. But now you’re gone, and I cannot wave you goodbye.
A turning lane in fresh white concrete now sits in front of your yard. One day soon a chain store might sit where you sat all those days. They might just put a bench or a chair, maybe even a rocker, in your spot, not knowing it is meant to be there. But I will.
I will go to this store and, for the first time, be in your space. I will remember you. I will celebrate you in your little yellow house on the busy corner as I wave to shoppers who pass by, with you, in your honor, not forgotten.