Old Houses

 

If you doubt that houses have souls, it’s only because you never sat and listened to what they have to say. I guess new buildings are a bit soulless, but old ones have plenty to tell.

 

The first time I had a “house messages” experience I was living in a very old one. I cannot imagine how many people livid in it before me. Anyway, during the time I was there I had persistent dreams I perceived as menacing. Later on I could understand that what I was regarding as a threat was nothing else but a warning of a danger about to happen in my life.

 

After the experience of living in thirty different houses due to my father’s erratic existence (profoundly irritating to my very sedentary mother), I’ve been living in the same house for a very long time. It’s an old house, so, as expected, it has a few things to say.

 

When I first came in here, moving from a modern apartment, I instantaneously had a very sad, oppressive feeling. I knew that someone living in this house before me wasn’t very happy.

 

Over the last years, through photos I found and accounts of people who knew the previous owners, I was able to picture their life.

 

There was only one couple living here before we moved in. They came from Portugal, during the fifties, to start a new life in Mozambique. He was a clever engineer and she was a gifted housewife. I guess that her restlessness started when she discovered she couldn’t conceive a child. Years later, her husband fell in love with a well-known Portuguese star who was in Mozambique for a couple of shows in the best hotel in town, the Polana – still the best up to this day.

 

She died before her husband, so I was right to feel that whoever was here before had a short, unhappy life. Her husband lived alone in this house for five years. During this period he must have time to realize how important she was to him and to this house, because he was unable to keep both running the way they should. We occupied the place a few weeks after he left for Portugal, where he died three years later.

 

In terms of this house, I feel that my family and I represent a bridge between previous sadness and future happiness. There have been children playing and laughing like mad within these walls. I am someone capable of being happy, even when facing adverse circumstances. We have been “cleaning” the bad omens in the house where we live!

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