Those Empty Corners of Life

[The street in front of our old Sunday Morning Spot, taken in Roanoke, May 2011.]

Currently, there are several empty corners in my apartment.

The space where a coffee table used to be. The old home of a lamp. An empty bookshelf in the corner of the office.

There was a time in my life when these empty spaces would have been a cause of anxiety and sadness. Now I look at them with joy and see how full of hope they really are. As I pack things slowly into boxes and send furniture away, I am simplifying my life.

There's something very attractive to me about doing things that aren't easy. Maybe it's the runner in me.

Go the distance. Throw things away. Make life better.

I remember a very specific moment from when Rob and I were leaving Roanoke to move here for the year. I was emptying the refrigerator in an apartment that no longer held any of our things. A broom sat, propped against another empty corner and dust covered the floor of what used to be our living room. The muggy August heat of southwest Virginia crept through the old warehouse windows of the apartment, and in that empty space, Rob pushed the hair from my sticky neck and said "I love you." That apartment wasn't empty as long as we were in it.

I have learned that an empty corner is just the beginning of something new and better.