An oil painting of a Greek fishing village is lodged against a bookcase in the home office. Only the upper left hand corner of the gilded frame can be seen. I know what’s there, I know the seafoam, light turquoise, gold highlights of this village where men are boarding their boats to catch their daily inventory. My friend Wilda bought it for herself many years ago because she felt the picture captured different lights of the day. It hung over her couch in the living room. For reasons known only to her and me, she put a note on the back that indicated the painting would go to me at the time of her death. It has donned walls in my workplace and in my home.
Today it is buried behind baskets, boxes, bins and folded clothing.
The queen bed is stacked in the dining room in pieces. The rounded headboard sports the claw marks of a heavy, beautiful white cat who made leaps onto the wood in order to see outside. They are not carved for life, but they remind me of the joy that Spirit the feline had for all things. Two mattresses are lined up in front of the headboard and the matching end board sits firmly against the dining room table. The table is immoveable against the weight.
Pieces of china that are promised to my niece are jailed in the wall hutch until the bed can be moved into its rightful place.
The front room sports a collection of furniture. An oak armoire with carved floral patterns on the door handles rests up against the divider between the entry and the living area. In front of that is a dresser, always used in the bedroom, now a depository for things needing to be found each day. Alongside the front room window is a small bed, covered with a fluffy comforter, nestled next to a sofa table. The sofa table now serves as a bed stand, although the bed is much lower. Sleeping on the bed in the day puts one at an angle that showcases the crimson red of the maple leaves and the turquoise of the fall sky. It also puts one in plain view to visitors walking to the front door and the mailman who continuously treks up to deliver the Amazon package of the day.
In other structures in town are storage units, filled with promise and surprise. It is furniture that was inherited, pieces from another home, all deemed special and waiting to be used.
I walk down the halls of my home and I see how each room represents either a vain attempt to keep order of everyday things needed for living; or those rooms that hold those clustered items relegated to an inappropriate space because they cannot be where they were always intended.
“This is me” I thought. “This is my jumbled persona.”
That is not a self-deprecation. I have rooms in me that are like those rooms that have a semblance of order. Things are pretty much in their place, but there is always room for improvement. I’m fine with that, it allows me to stretch the person in me that likes to learn even more about what would make me operate more fully in my world.
In this house, I have two rooms that are wide open space. They are in various stages of renovation. There is an intention set for their direction.
Soon the bedroom will have new furniture, beautifully painted walls replacing blue wallpaper with pink rosebuds in perpendicular designs. Soon French doors will look out at the woods in the back yard, replacing a smaller ranch style window that I would not have been able to exit in case of fire in the hall. Soon there will be a sitting area, for a cup of something in the morning as the sun rises through the trees.
Soon the bathroom will have a small Jacuzzi tub against a new wall with windows that will have calla lily etchings in them. The tiled floor will be replaced with a light oak flooring that will complement dark wood furniture chest and table that will hold calla lilies.
These rooms will go from “functional” to “chic”.
I am like that. There are big places in me that are open and spacious, looking ahead to who and what I want to be. In order to see that occur, there must be intentions set so that I can move toward those places of growth that I desire.
There is a new house that is empty and ready with its “good bones”; open ceilings and picture windows that will bring immense light into its interior. That light draws me to the joy of mother earth, with her flowing rivers and lush trees.
Some of the furniture that makes the other house unusable right now will come to this house. It will grace the living space with its beauty, it will provide rest to the weary and it will showcase the unique person I have become over the years as I’ve identified what I consider beautiful and special.
This place is new to me. It was built by a man with a vibrant past who wanted to leave his mark by planting redwoods, rhododendrons and wildflowers. I am moving in to his vision.
There is another part of me that has the good bones, and I anticipate the open embrace of the wilderness outside. This house represents the movement toward expansion that my soul calls for. This is the place of new beginnings. This is the place where I simply open my arms and allow the Divine to speak through me of what I have come here to be. This is the place that asks that I sit with my feet dangling over the deck above the river below and listen. This is the place where I open my mind to prayer, and I open my crown to the guidance found nowhere else on the earth.
This is the place within me that understands that as I have created a world of beauty in some areas of me and have accepted those parts of me that are “unfinished” but definitely manageable, I am moving more and more toward the part of me that opens to the Mystery, that asks for the ability to forgive and embrace because this is a world that must be focused on Love.
There are two primary factors that have created this matrix of domiciles symbolic to me at this time. Without those factors, my awakened being would not recognize the blessings I’ve just conveyed.
Another house was recently sold. It was a wonderful house that had such lovely wood and seclusion. After 31 years of accumulated memories, the house is full of new blood, new stories in the making. As the shelves were cleared and the attic emptied, I realized that I have released old patterns that were holding me back. The memories in that house were those of a person learning to see things differently, but stubbornly fighting to hold on to old beliefs and teachings that did not work in my desire to live a spirt filled life. With each box put into the car and taken away, my desire to serve my ego unplugged itself from my persona. I was letting go. I was blessing the learnings and the wonderful memories of family, friends and events that fit another time. That time is gone. I bow to its potency and I am grateful.
Through all of this undulation of change (externally and internally) the common denominator was the people. It is not easy to move through release of the old during the time of bending and shaping to the clutter of expectancy, and the encirclement of the brand new.
There were the friends who knew of the internal ascending I endeavored to make every day. They cheered and they listened and they believed.
There was the excited family that exploded with excitement at the new house where they would create their own memories and choose their own life path within those tri-level walls.
There was the contractor who stood side by side with us as we created the vision of those new rooms and supplied us with friendly, respectful and highly qualified people who set forth to make it happen. There was no ego in his determination. “I want you to love it” he said, and opened the pathway for my own self exploration of what that would entail.
There was my husband who quietly offered his support. He walked with me in the goodbye ritual at the old house. He used his own building skills to support the contractor in his mission. He will sit on that deck at the river and breathe in his own life force in whatever form that may take.
There is the realtor who made this journey hers. She sold the old life and found the new one for us. She knew what would bring the old house to someone else’s heart, and she knew that the river house would be our enchanting tale.
The stepping stones in this two month journey were wider and easier to traverse because all involved collectively linked arms and moved our hearts and souls upward. We all welcomed the new beauty of those rooms that are opening to their fullest potential. We all will enjoy the river house for the balm it will give.
None of us are the same as we were when this voyage began.
My rooms love their new colors, their piles of potentials, their spaces where energy flows and rises to new levels. My domiciles dance in the wind, reach for the sun and the rain, lay gently in the boughs of the trees and look past the clouds and into the blue sea of All that Is. I feel the generosity of a Bigger than Life cosmos that gleefully handed down this adventure for reasons I don’t know at this point.
I am simply grateful for it all.