Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our House

Each time, I enter my front door, a wave of gratitude sweeps over me. It simply feels so good to come home.

I love my house, this special place that holds all of my belongings and so many memories, this sacred space that reflects me. There was a time when I was restless in this house, in this area even, but now I fall more in love with it every day.

I find myself nesting, settling in, at no time more than now, the beautiful season of autumn that will lead into winter and holidays. On dark nights, our house glows with candles and a cozy fire, the smell of cinnamon and baking, the bustle of homework and chores, the jewel-like colors of crafts and decorations and flowers.

My house has literally been my sanctuary. Over the last difficult years, it has been my safe place, where I could retreat from the dangers of the world. In its steady presence, my house has guarded me and protected me. Even now, I know that I am bound to this house. Were I to try to leave it, I would be swept away into despair and destruction within weeks. Very much like a fairy tale, I know. But as long as I stay here, I am strong and free and occupying a very important place in the lives of so many dear ones. There's a story there somewhere, a beautiful fantasy tale of power linked to place, and dust and ashes waiting just outside the magical borders. Maybe I'll write it one day.

In the meantime, I am so content to be here. I look across my rooms, over our yard filled with sweeping trees, and I know that we choose well. I used to think that I would leave this home behind and go in search of adventures. Now I know that this will always be my home base; I can venture into the world on adventures aplenty, and return here to recharge. We vacation somewhere almost every month, just for the variety. And in the future, we are planning a fabulous European Tour to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. My daughters are already compiling a list of the places they dream of going. We may have other adventures as well. I want to stay in a rugged coastal lighthouse, have an apartment in Italy, live on a French farm. And this house seems like the ticket to open all of those far-away foreign doors.

When I was going through my years of struggle and despair, I didn't pay much attention to money. We did what we wanted, and I showered experiences and fun on my family, most of it subsidized by credit cards instead of income. Actually, it worked beautifully. I healed; I became happy; my family has amazing memories of time spent together that only strengthened our bonds with each other. It was a worthwhile investment in our amazing children, and they absolutely benefitted.

Now, our house has stepped in to put us onto a more prudent track. It just provided us with a year's salary, an end to debt and a fresh beginning. In return, we are sprucing it up, making sure it is taken care of. We will pay for this house within ten years and then it will be absolutely ours. I plan to live here forever, to age here in this lovely modest home on our quiet street, to play with grandchildren and great-grandchildren in our just-enough space. There is great contentment in that, great possibility in feeling my future expand before me in such a happy way.

I am so deeply grateful to my house and for my home.

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