Friday, July 10, 2009

If Walls Could Talk

One of my favorite poems is entitled "Laughter in the Walls" by Bob Benson. The poem is a beautiful kaleidoscope of memories of the Benson children growing up in their crowded but happy home. The author knows life is about to change as his sons and daughter are ready to leave the nest - one by one. Benson says that the once noisy, busy house will be getting larger - back to the size it was when he designed it years ago. He writes:
But it won't be empty.
Every corner, every room,
every nick in the coffee table
will be crowded
with memories. . .

And Peg and I will
sit quietly by the fire
and listen to the laughter in these walls.

I thought of those lines today. Our house is so very quiet after having the family here . . . and the rooms seem so much bigger and emptier than when the grands and their parents were here. And then I thought: If walls could talk . . . If walls could talk, I could replay their laughter, their teasing with Poppa, their voices calling me "Nanner" (instead of Nana), the knock-knock jokes, the funny things they said (that should be written down), and the more serious conversations we had.

But walls can't talk. However, memories can speak to us. And John David and I have already been listening to the echos of the good times we've had with our family recently! I'm so thankful that God created us with the ability to remember . . . and picture all the happy times we've had with our children and grandchildren . . . and hear their voices . . . and almost reach out and touch them at times - even though they are miles away. I can even still smell the two sweaty, dirty little boys who came into our house after a day of playing in the woods or riding four-wheelers 20+ years ago!

On the flip side of that idea came the thought: If walls really could talk, I would hope they also could erase some things . . . like unkind words . . . hurtful replies . . . heated "discussions" . . . or any other unpleasant or unChrist-like words. But walls can't talk; neither can they erase words that have been spoken. Words, once verbalized, can never be taken back, as we all know so well. But . . . but . . . God has a big eraser and is ready and willing to blot out any wrongly-spoken words that we confess to Him. Then He never remembers them again! Now that's better than walls that can talk!

No, walls can't talk, but I like that analogy. Just thinking about all the beautiful memories stored within these walls over the past 34 years is heartwarming. One of the many blessings of having grandchildren is that they keep the good times and laughter bouncing off these walls. If our walls could talk tonight, every room would be ringing with chuckles, giggles, belly laughs, and fun times. And what's more, the two of us just added a few more ripples of laughter as I retold one of the jokes our younger grandson told last night! The ancient wise man was so right; a happy heart - and laughter - really are good medicines for the soul! And good memories are, too!

"Smile a while . . . and give your face a rest . . . "


Nancy said...

Glenda, I LOVE this post! Seems like the walls in this room started talking as I read it. :) Of course, it helps that the walls in this room have so many pictures...of our two baby girls...and our teenage girls...and our bride girl. And then on top of the little old chest of drawers that Philip sat on as a baby, we have pictures of the beautiful Breaux children...reminding us that a whole new circle of love has begun. I love the picture you posted with this blog. I had never seen it before, but I can see you in Abby in this picture...that is definitely your expression on her face! :) As always, thanks for sharing!!!

Jackie said...

I'm so glad you and your loved ones (and your walls) were able to soak up so many happy memories this week. Loved your post!

One of my favorite things about living in a parsonage is to think of the many prayers that have been prayed within the walls, including those for people we have come to know and love. I like to think that there were even prayers prayed for those who would follow them in ministry - that would include me, though no one but God knew it.

Any place can be a home, but there are some structures that seem especially sweet because of the laughter (and the prayers) in the walls.