The Journey

journeyI have writer’s block.

Wandering into my library, I pull one of my favorite books from the shelf and open it to discover an unsigned poem hand written on a scrap of paper inserted as a bookmark…

Golden flames mingle with silver beams in dance upon the floor.
Low rests the fingernail moon,
snow falling upon the cedar boughs.
Cherished likeness of love
held gingerly with gnarled hands.
Tattered and torn, the image long faded
yet crisp is the vision.
Endless moments hollow and lost,
water flows of desolution
through the beams for repose.
Encased in a sea of warmth
a stirring gentle touch draws near delicate full lips.
Soul soaring to join the dance…
Life becomes one.

“Soul soaring to join the dance.”  Better than any words I could imagine, this describes the process of creating a home that is unique to your personal life journey.

Shelter is one of our basic human needs. Architectural magazines and style aside, we all basically crave a warm, dry place to lay our head at night. Every house offers shelter – well conceived houses do so with a sense of elegance, simplicity, and intention. Glenn Mercutt, an Australian architect that I highly admire, advises that one should follow three simple principles when designing a house…

Follow the sun,
Listen to the breeze,
And tread the Earth lightly.

Like any house, a home offers shelter – but it is more than just shelter. A home expresses your personal life journey and aspirations. In his book, “A Pattern Language”, Christopher Alexander observes that “decor and the conception of ‘interior design’ have spread widely, that very often people forget their instinct for the things they really want to keep around them.” He goes on to advise to “not be tricked into believing that modern décor must be slick or psychedelic, or “natural” or “modern art”, or “plants” or anything else that current taste-makers claim. It is most beautiful when it comes straight from your life – the things you care for, the things that tell your story.”

A home also offers the setting for you and your family to live out your dreams in the present. Think about a place that made you feel completely happy and at peace. Perhaps it was a childhood home, or maybe an inn that you visited during your most memorable vacation, or maybe it is where you are sitting right now.

Mostly, a home makes possible a sense of wholeness. Indeed, it must be durable, economically viable to maintain, comfortable, environmentally sustainable, etcetera. But it must also create a place where you and your family can realize your full potential. Turning back to my found poem, I re-read the last lines…

“Soul soaring to join the dance…
Life becomes one.”

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