|"Growing a Home"|
I've always believed that for a home to truly be a home that it needs to be filled with love and cheer, but it only really dawned on me this year that a home is something that we grow. Like a flower in the garden it needs to be fed, nourished, watered (cleaned!), and given sunlight to thrive. This small epiphany changed my whole way of looking at where we live and how we live in it. Feeling frustrated by toddler messes, too much stuff, an old rambling building with plenty of "character", and that overwhelming desire to own our own home, I wasn't fully appreciating or respecting what we had. While we will likely move at some point, for now, this is the only "home" my daughters have ever known. When they think of home, it is these walls, these people, the food and pictures and music created, the view off the mountains from the kitchen window, the river just across the way, swings and trees and all that grows in and around it. This special combination of living and inanimate objects and how they interact are what helps the home to grow, but mostly, it is the experiences within these walls. I want the walls to ring with laughter and joy and at night, fall into a deep peaceful slumber. It is with all this in mind that it becomes easier to care for and love the home we are in right now. Things need not be perfect if we let them grow organically. Paint will get old and chip, floors will get dirty, toys will swim on the floor when children are busy at play, and you can be sure a spider will find a cozy corner to call home. Like the garden outside, your home will need tending, but that makes the rewards of what you're growing even more wonderful! Growing a home means growing a place of love and shelter, a safe space to cry and sleep and day dream about all that is to come. When I walk into my home I want to remember to say "hello!" and "thank you" for giving us not just a space to hang my hat, but a place to live and be. I know that there are many in the world that go without this basic human need for shelter and safety, and I think it is our job as human's to find a way to give others this same gift of a peaceful space of love and protection, for it is in our homes that we are granted the most freedom to grow as well.