Muscle memory


The movers will arrive in an hour to pack up our little gray house. I should be doing something, anything, other than sitting here typing. But here I sit, with one last cup of tea and chocolate chip muffin. I feel tired even before the day begins, this past week a whirl of graduations and goodbyes and hours spent on taking inventory of every single item in our home. Please stop me the next time I want to buy something just because it’s cute. After attempting to fill in the forms with estimated values for every piece of clothing we own (why so many socks, people?), we decided in our sleep deprived stupor–we are never, ever, ever, moving again.

Yesterday, I ran my six-mile loop in the hills and forest. I haven’t run that far in a long time, and as I ran I thought of all the months I spent training for races on that same loop, back and forth, every Saturday morning. I huffed and heaved my way up and down those hills for miles, and I swear it was uphill both ways. My legs ached in the good way muscles do when they remember what they’re made for, how they’ve already carried this body across so many miles. I told a friend I feel nervous about an upcoming race this fall, and she said, Don’t worry, your muscles remember. I think she’s right.

My muscles remember how they burned with exertion all the way up the hills and their loosey-goosey feel on the way down. They remember this gray house and how it cradled me, how it held me close and kept me warm during winter storms, how it fed me on the life taking place beneath its roof. They remember how the sun streamed through the windows and warmed my back as I wrote, the scent of the spring peonies blooming in the garden, the sound of kid-sized feet pounding up and down the stairs in a weekday frenzy. My body remembers.

We spent our final night in our bedroom with its view of Zurich nestled at the top of the lake, and as I burrowed down beneath the sheets, I listened to the house breathe its night sounds. I sighed deep, content. I let this house cocoon me and lull me to sleep one last time, and I stored one last memory of how it held me.


How and what are you remembering as we turn the corner into summer?



  • Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk

    We have six more Saturydays, six more Sundays, etc. in our little house and my mind feels numb trying to comprehend it. Still don’t know where we’re moving! But, yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about how a house holds a person and shapes you. I love reading about your move as it helps me processs mine! Blessings, Kimberly!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks, Kelly:) Many, many blessings to you as you move in a few weeks. I look forward to hearing how your new place shapes you and your family!

  • michael

    great post, and so true. and i’m glad we made this little house our home. looking forward to the next adventure babe.

  • krysia

    Love the picture so much! Forests and trails are my favorite thing…..there are so many treasures there and i love how the sun shines through the trees. I ran today with my 15 year old daughter. She has decided to run cross country…it is different than my runs alone (my escape) Her young body has so many aches and pains and she likes to tell me about it! Are you moving to New Jersey? I hope you can rest soon. The running is a great stress release. Good luck to you and lots of prayers!
    Krysia in Atlanta

  • Mark Allman

    Oh to savor and relish these things in life that resonate with our soul. The dirt that held your footprints time after time; the hills that asked you to give up your breath; the hills that let you get it back; the house that held all you hold dear… loved ones and loved possessions; the home that had all it quirks and personality you learned living there.

    May your new home welcome you as your old one held onto you….