first days

DSCF0007our first days here have been blessed, the gift, so lovingling prepared and passed on to us, so full of tenderness we can practically breathe it.  somehow the words of the Christmas hymn ‘god rest ye merry gentlemen’ (not exactly a tune I frequently find myself humming) arose from somewhere in me, ‘oh tidings of comfort and joy’. yes, comfort and joy dwell within these walls.

we arrived home late on friday evening, exhausted from our afternoon with our daughter (that is another story), driving to Ikea, the airport, and back to Ikea, only to discover the pieces of furniture wouldn’t fit in our wagon after all. we missed our exit on the way back and wound up taking a 20 mile detour up highway 476. so, when we finally came stumbling through the door into this place of quiet , it felt like falling into an embrace.  left-behind welcoming touches added such warmth to that embrace… fresh flowers and the grace-filled note, the freshly laundered sheets, prose in the kitchen…(and we keep finding more surprises, how wonderful it is!)

we awoke to snow!! the view from the window next to the bed filled my heart with delight, pure and simple. i basked in it from beneath the duvet, even as the snow bathed and blanketed the earth, the trees, the rooftops with its own promise of renewal, clean slates, and restorative sleep. such quiet, unspeakable beauty! we slept late, made love, and then coffee, then settled in to a quiet day, full of peace, joy and contentment.

i have been struck by the term ‘closing’ and ‘settlement’, one used so blithely in the sale of a home. as I ponder those words, I realize how profound their invitation is to me. closing the door on the old…old habits, old dynamics, old messages, old ways, … stepping into the new, settling in to myself.

later, when our 3 year old granddaughter came for the evening, the magic rubbed off even on her. after a nighttime winter-wonderland walk in the snow, as we lay in the bed reading before sleep, she broke into a conversation with me unlike we have had before now…. one about being sad and angry (she’d told about a time she ‘cried a lot’ and asked me the same– if i ever cried, if papa every got mad) and i was reminded again that this is the kind of welcoming space i have longed for, not just for me, but for those whom i love. even her 3 year old self could feel it, or perhaps she simply sensed the difference in me in this place where i hope to move more fully myself.

there have been more moments of quiet (and exuberant) joy, but i won’t bore you with each one. some i will ponder in my own heart.  each day this home has welcomed us in some way. we have brought very little into the house, wanting to be very intentional about what we bring into this space and what we wish to leave outside the door, moving in slowly, bringing our spirits here first.

sanctuary was a word i used a lot when looking for a home. i think i’ve mentioned here before how it was that for so long we looked for a place that might have some sort of space to offer sanctuary/retreat for persons in need of quiet, healing, time apart, and how i’d come to realize that perhaps the first one i needed to offer that space to was myself. these days have confirmed that for me. the last year has been overwhelming me in so many ways, as I suppose times of great transition always do, the weeks before this house coming on the market poignantly so.  so, the appearance on the scene of this embodiment of grace, like that of any blessed, wondrous birth that comes at last at the end of a long labor, feels somehow heaven-sent.

i am so grateful.

i’ve found myself uttering blessings as i wander the rooms.

May we be deeply content in this place.

and may love surround all who enter.

May peace dwell deeply here

and may quiet reign.

May wonder and joy permeate these walls

and may relationships deepen in their embrace.

I wish these same things for you.

all is well,


ps. a friend sent me this new home blessing by john o’donohue. i thought you might appreciate it.

May this house shelter our life.
When we come home here,
May all the weight of the world
Fall from our shoulders.
May our hearts be tranquil here,
Blessed by peace the world cannot give.
May this home be a lucky place,
Where the graces our life desires
Always find the pathway to our door.
May nothing destructive
Ever cross our threshold.
May this be a safe place
Full of understanding and acceptance
Where we can be as we are,
Without the need of any mask
Of pretense or image.
May this home be a place of discovery,
Where possibilities that sleep
In the clay of our souls can emerge
To deepen and refine our vision
For all that is yet to come to birth
May this be a house of courage
Where healing and growth are loved
Where dignity and forgiveness prevail;
A home where patience of spirit is prized,
And the sight of the destination is never lost
Though the journey be difficult or slow.
May there be great delight around this hearth.
May it be a house of welcome
For the broken and diminished.
May we have the eyes to see
That no visitor arrives without a gift
And no guest leaves without a blessing.
John O’Donohue

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