A 1-bedder apartment unit in Maryland, the temporary abode that houses us during our time here in the US as the husband pursues his doctorate. Temporary yet I spent almost every hour of my life here since Halloween 2019.

“How is it temporary?” I wonder about my use of this term. Is it because we rent and don’t own it? Is it because this is not where we will eventually settle after he completes his program? This temporary abode sheltered us through the major crises over the past year. When I couldn’t hang out at the café to work; when I couldn’t travel overseas to see the world; when I couldn’t fly back to Singapore to visit, this shelter kept me safe and well through the seasons and the protests and the virus. Each time I thought I was losing my sanity, this room I now sit in to write this kept me sane.

This is the place we live in as a married couple, it feels almost like our first home together. Temporary sure doesn’t do it justice.

Ten years down the road, will I still remember its white doors with silver handles and hinges? The white doors were one of the first things I fell in love with in this apartment. Will I remember the light cool gray walls that hold up the white ceilings? And the carpets in the bedroom and the walk-through wardrobe that are in the same shade as the walls. Yes, walk-through because the wardrobe is a space connecting the bathroom and the bedroom. How convenient and well-designed. Will I remember the days and nights I slouch and sprawl on the bedroom carpet as I write, or log on to virtual worlds for calls or webinars? What about the light switches? Will I remember their old-fashioned design that makes my compulsion of turning on/off lights an easy flick?

There’s so much more to this humble abode I’ve not noticed. How much will I recall, what will I take, with me, when it’s time to leave? Will I remember the blazing sunsets from autumns through winters that lit my window views, like now, the sun’s bidding me farewell as it draws my day to a close. Humble like this splendid roof over our heads; each doing what it does to perfection.

Impermanence gains permanence in my heart when I bring presence to it.