I have friends who have homes that belong in magazines. Coffee table books. Fund-raiser house tours. Some, for their size, some for their location, others for uniqueness and then those for the exhibition of the decorating skills of their owners. A few for all of the above. I've been blessed with the gift of many friendships, here and abroad, along with countless invitations to luncheons, dinners, cook outs, parties, sleep-overs and extended stays. I know houses. I know homes and can easily tell the difference.
Mine is a little home. It is part of a big house. It is an apartment. I share it with my husband. It was carefully selected after giving up a few former houses, none of which I felt were "home". Funny, this little place I easily refer to as "home". To me it especially has all the elements of a home. A safe haven. A place to come to. A place to return to. There, ever-ready whenever the need for haven arises. That need arises often as the realities of life, cloaked in the armor of maturity, shape and reshape my world. Up the stairs, a turn of the key. A surge of energy that tells me things are okay if only for this moment.
What is it, I ask myself, that transforms this tiny space into the sacred space that it has become? Certainly not size. Not the inconveniences suffered by lack of a personal laundry room or garage-under. Although the walk across the driveway to the laundry room or the garage won't exactly kill me not is the gathering of quarters for the machines the worst that I could experience. It's not the occasional intrusion into our personal space that is made by visitors to our downstairs neighbor. By the way, we make a lot more noise and invade her space every day without one complaint heard. So, there is something special. It's that room.
Some call it a Family Room. I call it my Life Room. It’s a large room. White walls. Two closets. One holds the variety of items that constitute my creative life. Paints, beads, sequins, glues and pretty papers. All set to go. A regular mini craft shop. Move over Michael’s. The other, simply a variety of clothes, mostly from the uncurrent seasons, awaiting their turn. On opposite sides of the room, our desks, each with its own personality, owners easily identified by the obvious. Two distinctive personalities that, in the Life Room, come together. My desk is the one with the view. I overlook the pond and it is when I am seated at my desk that I take full advantage of the opportunity to enjoy an even greater Life Room. Ducks, birds, sun rises casting what appear to be yellow jewels on the water, snowfalls that mesmerize, rain and wind. Life.
Oh, but Life Room does have a flaw. Nothing is perfect. In this case, the lesion comes in the form of too much dull beige wall to wall carpeting. Not one speck of wood floor to be found in this room, unlike the others. We cannot change it. We don’t own, we rent. I force myself to abandon for a few moments my show of nature out the window and focus my attention on the poor step child beneath me as I sit on the beige sleeper sofa. The carpet is not dull. It has a life of its own. There’s the remnant of the red wine that went flying across from the hands of a good friend who came to visit. Over there, near the closet, a vivid memory of the delicious strawberry-sauced dessert, a surprise for my husband. Here, there and everywhere, little brown circles, left behind from the endless cups of coffee that accompany us here in this room while we live the most precious moments of our lives. Thank you Carpet. You really are the fabric of our lives. You pull this room in this house together, just like the decorators say you should. You are a part of what makes this home. Indeed.