Tuesday, August 26, 2008
A Place Called Home
There is something about this time of year that makes me want to clean and decorate my home.
Maybe it's just a nesting instinct- that urge to fluff pillows and smooth bedsheets and clean windows till they sparkle.
Somehow there is a great satisfaction of changing the door wreath or the kitchen tablecloth or the garden flag.
It might just be that we all need a change.
Although I do dread winter, I anticipate autumn.
Summer has given us too many hot days, too many weeds in the garden and too much yard to mow.
Autumn comes and puts an end to outdoor slavery.
It's a time to relax- to plan and to reflect-
before the two biggest holidays unfold
and the snow shovels appear.
Decorating is part of the welcoming process-
a hint to friends and family to come on in-
have a mug of cocoa -
wrap yourself up in the warmth of
scented candles, baking cookies
and just relax.
We all develop a certain attachment to our homes.
Sometimes it may not seem that way,
but they become a special part of us-
the heart of our lives.
Several years ago my family and I moved from
our home in the country to a temporary place in town.
Looking back, it was a traumatic experience for me.
This is the journal entry that I made at the time:
"It is just after midnight and I write by the light of the Christmas tree. For the first time in eleven years we aren't at our house- the comfort of our home. How many beautiful trees did we have there? How many memories? And why, oh why, does everything that was ever said or done in that house seems magnified into huge glorious days and nights that break my heart? In all honesty, I am homesick. Nothing seems right, feels right, tastes right. I suddenly envy people in their little houses with their perfect little lives with concrete driveways and door wreaths and mailboxes and cute little flowers and mailboxes and bird baths and clotheslines and waving "hello" as I pass. Now I see evening lights glowing at dinner over dining room tables. I see their little trees all lit in the windows and they're all happy and singing songs and snuggled into warm, familiar beds, and they are HOME..."
I truly feel sorry for homeless people and
even those people who never seem to form
an emotional attachment to their homes.
People who are too busy working and traveling
to ever make a soft dent in the sofa cushions,
that never know the colors of the sunset from the kitchen window,
never grow familiar with the family of wrens in the rafters,
fail to enjoy the scent of the nearby lilac tree-
never memorize the hum of the refrigerator at 3 a.m.-
or neglect to know the pesky mouse that skitters about in
the garage on occasion.
I also feel sorry for those people who live in
perfect, plastic homes-
those strict people who have never had jelly on their drapes,
finger paints on their dining room table,
ants in their pantry
or a racoon in their garden.
The same people that would never take a chance
at painting their walls orange or eggplant
or find a yard sale treasure that
fits wonderfully in the living room.
I have a home
and I am proud that it's not perfect.
Some of my furniture is as old as I am.
There is a mouse hole in the laundry room.
I decorate with flea market finds and rummage sale castoffs-
and not because I have to- but because I want to.
Because in some strange way,
I am making a home for these homeless things
in my home.
Right before we found the house that we live in now,
I made this entry in my journal:
"I want a house with a yard. That's where I'd be right now. With the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and spring- like a flower- blooming in my heart. God has plans for us. A real home. So I wait. And know with utter faith and belief that it is well worth waiting for..."
And it has been.