17. Because Your Home Should Be Your Haven

What a blessing it is to come every night to a home that is my refuge. I am one of the lucky ones; I drag myself in the door and this house wraps its arms around me, soothing my weary soul. I love every thing about it—its bones, its colors, its textures. And I love its views. From every window and every door, the world just beyond is wondrous, teeming with life and changing, ever changing, as the sun travels across the sky and day moves on to become night.

On Friday our home was photographed for Columbia Metropolitan. (Could I possibly write this post without acknowledging my dear, dear friend Pam Plowden, designer extraordinaire, who can stuff a fatsia leaf clipped from her yard into a scavenged holiday tealight from my pantry and make springtime mantle magic? She is 100 percent responsible for everything lovely about this house and we both know it.) How thrilling it was to be a part of the shoot and to watch Pam’s “editorial” transformation of the kitchen, the bedroom, the living room, and the pretty porch (where I’m sitting now). It offered a tiny bit of changed perspective in which I could stand back and see the rooms as a stranger might—beautiful, but distant.

It is so pretty I thought as I looked through the photographer’s lens. I wonder what it would be like to live there.

Of course I already know. It is more chaotic than the photographs show. There is more mess and more clutter and there are more dirty dishes. There are stacks of mail and piles of books and where the pets sit and shed, beach towels cover the linen upholstery.

The fabric on the Keeping Room sofa is cat-claw shredded. Tim’s marathon medals, all 24 of them, hang proudly—if not elegantly—around a formerly magnificent vase. The sisal rug, custom cut for the living room, has a stain the size of Australia. (Yes, I made it much worse by trying to clean it).

And still this house is the loveliest, coziest, most comfortable place I’ve ever been.

We go to bed at night with the blinds open, letting the soft light of fuller moons puddle on the dark wood floors. I sometimes fight to stay awake, intent on reveling in Just One More Moment of peaceful, quiet calm. I fall asleep in prayer. Then morning comes, and I awaken with the same thought in my heart and on my soul:

Thank you, God, for the gift of living here.

Thank you for this life.

30 Days of Grace II

Bonus from the shoot: fresh flowers everywhere!

6 thoughts on “17. Because Your Home Should Be Your Haven

  1. Lovely article! Yes i love Pam Cook Plowdens work! Its beautiful! I had the pleasure of seeing her work start in college….

  2. Delighted to received such a nice comment from one of my favorite writers! Thank you, Shanna.

    (Dear readers, I promise you will adore Shanna’s “literary food blog” http://foodloveswriting.com/, as much as I do. For the MUST READ RSS feed folder, for sure.)

  3. Thanks so much for your note today and for pointing me here to your blog. I like the way you’re catching the graces in your life by recording them here, and I’m glad to get to follow along! Here’s to celebrating our good gifts and the One who gives them.

  4. Cathy, if you wrote a book I would lose myself in it and never want to find my way out! What a gift you have!! Wishing you a blessed Sunday!

    1. Way to make my spirit soar! Thank you, Cheryl, for being a faithful read and a supportive friend.

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