Making Peace with Home
October 16, 2014 § Leave a comment
My current home is one I have lived in for the longest period of my adult life.
Growing up, I lived in the same house for 21 years. I find it a little surprising that since leaving the nest I have lived in twelve different houses, a Buddhist Monastery, a tent, and of course I returned to the nest a few times too. I’ve written more about these homes here.
I usually approach finding a new home with excitement and positivity: seeing it as a new opportunity to manifest a home that will meet our changing needs as a family. The moving in part also presents a new opportunity – to begin new rhythms and routines, and to embrace new energy and habits. This has always been something I have welcomed, and when I look back at our different homes, I can see certain themes or lifestyle habits, or interests that we had, particular to each place and house.
Our present home was not our desired choice. It was handed to us, by friends who were moving out of it. We had been out of the rental market for a while (having lived with my mother), so this leg up back into the system was welcome, despite not particularly loving the house or its location.
It has now been four years in this house that Sol and I promised each other would be a stepping-stone with a limit of two years. In that time we have planted a little veggie garden, turned the garage into a teenage retreat-of-sorts, I have birthed a baby on the lounge room floor, and now I run craft workshops and a Playgroup from this home.
I used to feel embarassed about the retro light fittings in the living room, or the single bathroom, or the cosyness (smallness!) of the living space. I have not done much entertaining from this house. And I used to spend a lot of time fantasising about when we would be able to move to a bigger, more peacefully situated home.
This year, however, things have shifted for me. What I felt was a too-small living space is actually the perfect size to hold my Playgroup and Workshops. What I saw as a typical suburban backyard (and not in a good way) is a delight for the children who come here often. This house has use and purpose beyond simply shelter for my family, and give thanks for that.
I dream of living in the bush. But that bush is probably a good half hour drive from here. Here, where my mother is only ten short minutes drive away, and Sol’s mum just a bit more. How would we have enjoyed the same kind of drop-in closeness with these women if we were out in the bush somewhere? I don’t think we would have. As it is now, my children are always popping over for sleepovers with ‘The Grandmothers’. And I love that – for the special memories my children will have of their one-on-one times with their grandparents, and for the opportunity to give other children some extra time here with me.
We have now celebrated numerous seasons and rituals here in this house. I have watched the leaves fall and then re-grow on the star-leaf tree out the back three times. We have our little rhythms….our now-familiar walking route where the boys can skateboard along; the best times to get to the nearby basketball hoop when we know no one else will be there. It has taken me so long to see the gifts that come with this particular house, and the feeling, finally, of peace, is welcome.