This fall is no different. I recently moved into a house that truly hugged me. A home when I first crossed her threshold. I'm a big believer in presentation and ambiance. Smells, sights, feelings of a place can deeply affect my mood, and in thirty - eight years, I've learned it does the same for others too.
Let's face it, I am in one of those little vacuums of time in life, when one is sandwiched between stages. I am not yet divorced, but not living as a married person. I am a single parent building a new Homefront, but my ex lives two minutes away and we see each other daily. That said, my only concern has been to transition my children as comfortably as possible. (This is why I had my house set up 24 hours after the movers left.) I want them to feel the big embrace of comfort and sanctuary when everything else seems to be fluid and in flux.
I am reemerging from the wreckage of all this now. I am fully aware that I most likely won't have such freedoms to design and decorate my house like this if I ever choose co-habitation with others than my kids. Even with them, I'll have to "normalize" so as not to embarrass them. But for now, I hit the big ol' "F*ck it" button and created a gypsy tent-bed, painted the stairs to look like books, put inspirational quotes and love reminders all over the place, painted the door, the external window shutters, and am working on stained glass window hangers with my kids handprints and favorite flowers.
From the outside, in a stuffy (but beautiful and safe) suburb, I'm "Weird." So what? My kids love the whimsical and very personalized touches. But everything can be started anew, or changed or readdressed with new perspective (or paint). That will be yet another good life lesson for them.
There is a blessing from John O'donohue's "To bless the space between us."
"Home is where the heart is. It stands for the sure center where individual life is shaped and from where it journeys forth. What it ultimately intends is that each of its individuals would develop the capacity to be at home in themselves. This is something that is usually overlooked, but is a vital requirement in the creativity and integrity of individual personality. It has to do with the essence of a person, their sense of their own inner ground. When a person is at home in his life, he always has a clear instinct about the shape of outer situations; even in the midst of confusion he can discern the traces of a path forward. When one is at home in oneself, one is integrated and enjoys a sense of balance and poise. In a sense that is exactly what spirituality is: The art of homecoming."
I know things don't last or stay the same very long. I also know that when my children feel loved, creative and confident in themselves, my divorce or mistakes or mean girls and life's unexpected disappointments won't topple them.
I've worked really really hard to get through my own childhood and lack of any of those things to provide and permeate self-love, self-trust and the overriding truth that YOU (they) are everything they need already and that trusting that and standing sure-footed in themselves will only help them bend in the winds of change.
Happy Friday. Happy home-in-yourself wishes to you,