Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Making space

Whew. . .what a lot has happened since last I wrote!  Five trailer loads and one hurricane later, we are settling into our new house and beginning the process of making it feel like ours.  As I work on my new home, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the making of spaces.  Part of creating a home, at least for me, involves the creation of favorite nooks, the discovery of little surprises hidden until one actually lives in a house.  Some are discovered, like a view from a window or a particularly fantastic sun-lit corner.  Some are created with paint, elbow grease and often a few tears of exhaustion.  One at a time, this is how I make a place my own, carving out spaces for daydreaming in the cradle of cozy familiarity.

So far, these are my favorite spaces in our new home:

1) In our master bedroom, lying in bed, facing the windows.  Our house is surrounded by tall oak trees and when the leaves catch the wind, framed by the sky, it is easy to imagine that we live in a tree house.  The bright "pepper grass" paint we rather spontaneously selected (after discovering that the paint we had bought initially looked like highlighter) adds to the effect, creating the sensation of great height and lush wilderness.  (Our first night in our room, which happened to be the night that Hurricane Irene ripped by, will forever be remembered as a night spent staring wide-eyed at the impossibly bent limbs of old trees, listening to the hiss of leaves hanging on for dear life and wondering if we would survive our first night as home-owners.)  Oddly, something about the sound of traffic outside the front windows blended with the swaying trees is soothing, bringing together in one place the fabulous dynamic of small town and big city livin' that this corner of the world has to offer.  In my bedroom, from my bed, I am a wilderness scout camping in a lush tree canopy, attentively deciphering the hums of strange animals cruising rapidly below.

2) The strange thrill of being able to watch the public library from our upstairs bathroom window.  I know it's odd but there is something wonderful about being able to clandestinely watch the ins and outs of the public library across the street while I brush my teeth, dry off or, ahem, take care of business.  I thought living on a relatively busy street was going to be the worst part about living in this house.  Turns out it is rapidly becoming one of my favorites.  In my bathroom, I am a spy, a toilet seat sleuth prepared to give a full account should the news, police or some obscure magazine need a detailed report of a day in the life of our public library.

3) A garden ripe with possibilities.  The garden here is huge, overgrown with raspberry bushes and totally wild.  It smacks of hard work, back pain and swollen hands from hours of weeding yet I can't help but feel a thrill as I walk by it.  What goodies will we grow in there?  This afternoon Siena and I worked at weeding and loosening up the soil for at least an hour and a half and have a 4x4 foot square to show for it.  I swear that it is the most beautiful square of dirt I have ever seen.  In my garden, I am a magician, a witch of the highest order, bending gnarly roots into beautiful fruit and taming stubborn soil until it does my bidding.

The favorite spaces in our lives, it seems, give us space to be in our heads, to entertain the strange and often fanciful daydreams that frame the moments in our day.  And so friends, I'm curious. . .what are your favorite spaces in your life and who are you when you are in them?

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1 comment:

Beth said...

I love this post, Jess, especially the images of the toilet seat sleuth and camping in your bed. Bravo and congrats on your new house! Excited to help you guys make it a home :) xoxo