14 April 2011

My home. My cave. My sanctuary.



"For our house is our corner of the world. As has often been said, it is our first universe, a real cosmos in every sense of the word. If we look at it intimately, the humblest dwelling has beauty" Gaston Bachelard  - The Poetics of Space.


The idea of "home" has been resonating with me rather loudly over the past month. Home conjures up words like peace; soft place to land; serenity; sanctuary. A place for the family tree to put down roots.

I have been rather opposed to the concept of settling down. I moved out of the family home not long before I turned 20 and then spent a few years moving from house to house; suburb to suburb. It was a definite case of itchy feet, enjoy the freedom to roam in a gypsy like manner and also of having the luxury of no ties which would require a level of continuity or stability. Also, being renter instead of an owner meant that I did not have to worry about those silly things like mortgages, and all the encumbrances that come with that responsibility. My eldest spent the first two years of his life moving house more times than he had celebrated his birthday.

The biggest move I have undertaken was moving to another state. And now, with the addition of two small children, I feel that I must be responsible and settle in one place. The chance of us becoming home owners is beyond our reach and that is something that we have begrudgingly forced ourselves to come to terms with. It is difficult because we do not feel comfortably within ourselves, a sense of permanency. There is no such notion of changing colour schemes, or upgrading kitchens.

We have found a wonderful haven. We are not hemmed in by neighbours. There is space. There is freedom to move around and I find this particularly important with children as they have so much energy to expend on a daily basis. There are things about this house which truly annoy me and cause me to vocalise my frustrations, but I have a bond with this house. A tie to it.

My last child was born here. In the spare bedroom to be exact. I can walk passed that room and memories come flooding back. Squeak has been found playing on the exact spot she came into the world. Not many can do that. It feels so humbling; so logical that she is able to literally be right where she first joined our family. Almost mystical in a way. I think this one of the reasons that makes me not want to leave this house. I do not want to pull her away from her birthplace.

So we are laying roots; in the shape of veggie patches, flower gardens. We may not be able to do things like get rid of the electrifying cobalt blue which drowns our kitchen cupboards, but we can change the colour and shape of the landscape outside. We are making our micro-cosmos here. I cannot wait to watch the new creations which will unfold in our little corner of the world.

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