Our Beloved Birdhouse

Dear Birdhouse,

After fifteen months of living together, you are not only the one we come home to, you are our home. From your moldy basement to brick attic, you’ve been our ride or die. What other house can accommodate eight wild girls and handle the shrieks, the stress and the splattered spaghetti sauce inside our microwave? Tucked on the corner of Old South High and Ohio Street, you represent our legacy here at James Madison University.

When I think of all the blissful moments we’ve spent with you, feelings of gratitude and nostalgia wash over me. Remember the snowpocalypse during the winter of 2016? Those few days when Harrisonburg got slammed with several feet of snow that forced JMU to shut down and sent students into frenzied shenanigans? For the Birdhouse girls, that meant whipping together lavish brunches of sticky cinnamon buns and egg casseroles. It meant long afternoons playing board games with the Dude Ranch guys or jumping off nearby parking decks onto mounds of ice that we thought were snowdrifts. Snow days meant squatting on the radiators to stay warm, sporting fuzzy onesies and watching horror movies with the worst ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.

And remember the mega-bed? That night when we dragged every mattress into the living room, lit dozens of candles, dipped popsicles into champagne and belted to Phantom of the Opera? In that moment, with tiny flames flickering all around us and surrounded by the people I love, I knew you were the one for me. I knew that I could never go a day without you—that I wanted to spend the rest of my life within your walls.

Never have I laughed so hard, danced so wildly or shared more meaningful moments than with you. During these past fifteen months, I’ve learned that pain always passes and that when the sun shines, it shines out all the clearer. I’ve learned that true friends stand by your side in the best and worst of times and ceaselessly believe in the gritty, vivacious person you’re becoming. No final exam, troublesome family member, uncertain future career or ex-boyfriend can shake the sisterhood of the Birdhouse. We resist fear, withstand change and are resilient against failure.

From today until infinity, we stand together because four wooden floors, thin walls that carry instead of keep out noise, dim bathroom lights and a kitchen sink from the 1800’s, turned eight girls into a family.

Your Bird Forever,

        Rachel Denison

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s