We’re building in the Upper-Ninth Ward, and only a few blocks away from our site rests a street called Piety. I walked down that street today. I’ve thought so much about this street, and a particular house on it. We built a house here last year, the Berklee crew and I. During grueling hours of construction, we were blocking the interior walls and started the beginnings of the roof. Last June, the house looked like this.
A year has passed, and we’re walking down Piety once again. I begin to recognize houses in their varying stages of demolition or reconstruction. It’s hard to know for sure where I am. Will I recognize the place? What will I find? My heart is beating heavily with anticipation.
And then I see it. And cry. Hot tears begin to streak heavily down my face, camouflaging themselves amidst the dirt and sweat. I’m certainly not a crier, and I never expected to be so moved by this moment, but the house is beautiful I can’t help but not.
I walk up the front steps, steps I’ve sat on many times in the past. But instead of tool belts and Berklee waterbottles, there are shoes. Little shoes. The child who lives here must have kicked them off before coming into her house.
I rang the doorbell. There was no answer at first, so I turned to leave. And then a woman answered. I smiled at her, speechless, and being so saturated with emotion, I muttered the only thing that came to mind. “I helped build your house.”
The woman immediately open the door widely saying, “Why don’t you come in?”
I did. And I told her we were from Berklee College of Music in Boston. There was so much I wanted to tell her, about how much fun we had putting the roof together, and how much love went into this house, but I said nothing. Instead, I peered around the livingroom. Even though Tiara only moved in last month, after waiting all this time, it felt like home inside.