Day 3 - Life as a House
"Every spirit builds itself a house, and beyond its house a world, and beyond its world a heaven. Know then that world exists for you."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
My husband wants property. By that, he means space - land that stretches out beyond our front door and cradles us in a safe buffer from the outside world. He doesn't like meddling neighbours, or feeling as if he's being monitored, or perhaps not being able to go outside in the morning in his underwear (or maybe that's me).
Sometimes I deny this desire in myself. I love people, and connecting with them, and having a sense of community. I love the idea that if something were to happen, there are kind people around me that would help me out in a crisis. I love that I can share the fruits of our gardens with others in the summer, and wave a frosty hello through steamy car windows in the winter. But I do have those moments where I wish that my evening patio chat with my husband wasn't watched over, or listened to, by everyone on the block.
I have lived in many abodes, including a tin shack in the Galapagos where cockroaches and spiders as big as my fist trickled over the walls that didn't quite meet the ceiling, threatening to crawl into bed with me every night. I've lived in Korea where the floors were hot to the touch and the showers installed so you could sit on the toilet while you washed your hair. I've lived in luxury in Australia, and next door to Pigeon Park in Vancouver. I could, potentially, live anywhere if given enough time to turn it into a haven - to tell myself a story that changes space into a place of meaning and familiarity.
I spend a lot of time at home. As a writer and a stay-at-home mother, it's out of necessity. But I don't mind. In fact, for someone who has always been anxious to get outdoors and into the world, who has never been good at staying in one place, it seems I have finally found something in this space that allows me some contentment in being stationary. Maybe its the big, bright living room with windows that overlook the lake that keeps me still on the couch while I work. Maybe its the sounds of birds that serenade me all day long, or knowing that even though I don't leave the house, there are endless things to do and "adventures" to be had under my roof.
My world has expanded and shrank is spacial context many times, and sometimes I suffer from greener grass syndrome when I think of my days when the world was more of a playground - more accessible on a grander scale. But the joys of having a family, the depth of life experience it brings, and the ways it encourages a person to evolve keep me from ever questioning the value of these circumstances. The world "out there" still exists, and waits, but this world belongs to me. I've built it, nurtured it, and tended to it, and it is mine to indulge in everyday. It is a heaven and a haven and I need to remember that.
Our peach tree is blossoming. I've always wanted my own peach tree, since I first sunk my teeth into an Okanagan peach as a young girl. The bees are beginning to pollinate, weaving together a community through the spread of seed. I love my home, and although I am much less "out there" then I ever was before, I am nurtured "in here". In slowing down, I am able to remember that.