Winter Solstice

(based on the song “Winter Solstice” by Eliza McLamb)


I open the door to the basement and am greeted by a small rush of cold air. I start down the creaky steps. Then I see it: a wooden doll house, the one I used to love when I was younger. I hesitate, then walk slowly toward it. I run my fingers along the rough edges of the roof and the smooth surface of the door, then lower myself onto my knees. I’m hit with something that I can only describe as a mix of nostalgia, sadness, comfort, and longing. 


I brush some dust off of the wooden balcony and open the pink doors. This dollhouse hasn’t been touched in years. I feel a pang of guilt seeing it in this state and go upstairs. I return with paper towels and a cup of water. 


I remember that I originally went downstairs to take the laundry out of the dryer. I should probably do that instead. I still have homework, too, but for some reason I’m gently wiping down this dollhouse in a tender attempt to restore it. I let the ever-spinning world stop for a few minutes and I take my time. I let all the memories come back to me. Everything seemed to be so much simpler back then. I close my eyes for a moment, inhaling before opening them again. 


Once I’m done cleaning the doll house, I set down the paper towels on the cold, unfinished floor. I get up and walk to the other side of the doll house and sit down, I open the windows, and then, after a moment, I open the doors.