Life is an adventure of the heart, an adventure into love

Monday, 31 May 2010

Home

I was out having a coffee on my own recently and I picked up my book 'Simple Abundance' by Sarah Ban Breathnach. The section I was reading at just so happened to be about Home- making. It really struck a chord with me. We currently live in a beautiful, but rented property. Our original landlord sold the house just after we moved in, and the new landlord wants to live here. This means that on August 31st we will be moving onto a new place. I realised, reading about how important our homes are, that I'd stopped caring about mine. I think because we don't own the house, and because I know we've got to pack up and leave soon, I just hadn't bothered with those little touches that really make a house feel like a home.

When I started reading 'Simple Abundance', I realised that caring for your home is so important because it is ultimately caring for yourself. I was really struck by Sarah's thoughts on the connection between Mothering and our homes. She writes: "Many women I know share a seldom- expressed yearning to be comforted. To be mothered. This voracious need is deep, palable- and oftern unrequited. Instead, we are the ones who usually provide comfort... though we are grown we never outgrow the need for someone special to hold us close, stroke our hair, tuck us into bed." She goes on to say: "The best way to start (learning how to mother ourselves) is to create a comfortable home that protects, nurtures and sustains all who seek refuge within its walls." As I read this, I started to feel inspired and excited, but also fearful- the questions arose "What if I can't afford to create a beautiful space?." and "What if our next home isn't nice at all?" I felt a bit panicked because now I was in touch with a real desire to create a home! However I read on, and there was a quote from 'The Mother's Magazine' published during World War 1. It goes: "Beauty doesn't lie in the expenditure of much money, but in the artistic disposition of little." and then another great quote: "The desire to make the home dearer and sweeter to those who live in it is still the enduring secret of endowing our homes with charm."

So here's what I took from all that. Our homes are so important as they are a way to express ourselves and to nurture ourselves. I wanted a home that would wrap it's arms around me as I walked in through the door, guide me to a comfy chair and put a cup of tea on my lap. Having a heartfelt desire for this and a little bit of inspiration is all you need to make a home feel like home. You can spend all the money in the world and still end up with something that feels stark and barren and empty of feeling. As I looked up from reading my book in the coffee shop I saw the sign that I posted at the top of this post. It simply said 'HOME'. I knew it was for me and it was a wonderful promise to me that wherever I go next, I will always have my sign that says 'Home' on it and I will always have the desire to create a beautiful nurturing environment.

I have been keeping a scrap book for a while of all my favourite images of homes and soft furnishings and my plan is to add more to that, to create a book of my dream home! I want to 'dwell in possibility'  search for the possibilities of the now and continue to dream. I was thinking about my favourite homes in films and they are Meg Ryan's home in 'You've got mail' and I loved the Alaskan home in 'The Proposal' with Sandra Bullock. So what do I want more of in my home? I wrote a quick list as follows:
scented candles, coloured glass, fabrics, rugs, photographs, flowers and colour! I have already begun, just picking some flowers from the garden and putting them in old jam jars on the table. I have also ordered some of my own photos on Boots.com- I got 40 free prints for signing up, so the photos are free!

Here are some photos of the simple touches I have been making at home:

Flowers from the garden in Jam jars and a candle to light at dinnertime.

Some of my paintings displayed downstairs on what was a bare wall, I'm also going to be adding some of my own photographs.


Little touches in the downstairs loo!


And finally some inspiring books as the first thing you see when you come in through the door.

So what does home mean to you and what are your favourite homes from films?

Monday, 10 May 2010

Rain


I love it when it rains. Not drizzle, but real rain. Rain that is heavy. Rain that tenderly waters the earth and feeds us all. Rain that makes soothing noises on the roof of your house as you are drifting off to sleep. Pitter-patter, pitter-pater it softly lulls with its gentle rhythms. Occasionally it will rain so heavily that you turn to the person lying next to you in bed and whisper... "Can you hear the rain?".

My daughter often awakens my heart to the simple beauty around me, things that I might be too busy to notice. It rained quite heavily last week, and whilst I was thinking about what chores I wanted to get done, she was thinking: 'rain + wellies + my pink umbrella + puddles + splashing = F U N!' I asked her what she would like to do and we were soon out of the door with anoraks, umbrellas and wellies (why is it that things feel more adventurous when you have to wear special kit?). I had no idea how much fun I was going to have from this short walk around the block, but just noticing the way the rain had decorated my world with tiny sparkles and filled the air with freshness was enough to sustain me for the rest of the day.


There is something completely magical about water, and my daughter knows this. She loves to splash in it, feel it on her hands, swim in it, be part of it. I love the way raindrops are caught on leaves and flowers, like tiny faerie's diamonds they glisten in the sunshine.


This was another reminder for me, that in so many ways I am learning how to be like a child again, because children feel the magic in ordinary moments. They do not need to spend money to have fun, and I am learning that I don't either! Just simply being part of this life and experiencing the wonder of it is enough for me. It feels like a privilege, and an honor, it feels like I am deeply loved by the One who made me and put me here.