More than five years ago, I claimed this address online and moved in, this small space that is home to these words woven into story. With such a long name for such a small space, I had a vision for how I wanted it to look, but it's taken me awhile to unpack and decorate the walls and add the flourishes and touches that feel like home. Some pictures, too, have gone up on the walls, only to be taken down. My style has changed, even if I haven't been able to pinpoint clearly what it is. It passes, too, with the seasons.
I know what home feels like when I visit other peoples' homes, where their words find a place to live and give life. It settles inside me like the ache of a dream not yet fulfilled, wraps around me like a sweet memory from years past. In their homes, I might be at my favorite bed and breakfast at the Oregon Coast, wrapped in a blanket with a fire crackling, mesmerized by ocean waves consuming the beach sand. Or I might be sitting at an old farmhouse table, savoring bread fresh from the oven in a room with butter walls and children laughing in the background. I might be laying on my back in a field, staring up at two eagles dancing through a turquoise sky, listening to the sound of the wind bending grass and tree branches swaying. Their voices sing to me, like the birds outside my window, in the pause just before dawn. In these homes, I kick off my shoes and settle in for long conversation; for the gift of being seen and known without a mask.
Yes, I know home when I enter it.
But what about those I invite into my own home, is it home for you?
I confess, I’ve wanted my writing home to be a safe place where you can curl up on the couch or pull up a comfy chair, with a pot of coffee on the kitchen counter or the tea kettle on the stove and some tasty treat to savor. Where we can speak the hard things and listen to each others’ stories and not turn our eyes away or hurry along the pregnant silences. Sharing laughter over the silly things and not apologizing for our tears or messes or lack of answers.
But I know the truth is, it can seem a little dark around here. Sometimes the home I've felt at home in is not the home that is my space. My space has been, at times, a cave, and the place I've had to offer is a seat beside me on uneven, rocky floor. Here I've written from candlelight, squinting hard to see and voices echo through tin cans and across cavernous ceilings. The truth is, I've written more from the ground, in the dark, in the middle of the night and just-before-the-break-of-dawn, in the downpour and in the barren winter months, than I've written from a cozy space and crackling fire and springtime flowers.
I don't necessarily have a warm blanket to wrap around you or words to warm your heart and make you feel good, but I do have my arms. I will sit beside you and hold your story in reverence and share in your tears and joys and wrestle with your questions, and I'll remind you you're not alone. I will offer you the bread from my table and whatever food is in my cupboards and give you a cup of water to drink. And I know that kind of welcome into a home can be intimidating or unsatisfying for some; maybe for most. But it’s what's inside this humble dwelling space.
And I invite you in, because I'm not sure you know how much I want you here. How much I want to know you.
Perhaps when you step inside my home and find a place to sit and rest, we might turn a light on in the living room together or light the candles on my painted wooden chest, listen to the sounds of the neighborhood passing by outside the door and wrap our blankets tighter as we huddle in close. Perhaps here we create our own cozy in the space where we wipe off our painted faces, lay down our contrived answers, and tell each other the beauty we see here, in the dark, with the candle flames flickering hope across the walls.
. . . . . . . . . .
Joining Lisa Jo for a (well-beyond) five-minute friday post. The prompt today is "Small."