Friday, January 15, 2010

A Home Blessing

The holidays have come and gone too quickly. Our grown boys were home from the East coast and the West coast for 7-10 days, which was simply not enough time for them to catch up on their sleep, to finish holiday shopping and wrapping, baking and cooking, writing our family holiday letter, visiting with friends and family, host an open house at our new farm (not waiting until everything is done), and just relaxing and doing nothing. :-)

My husband and I have not yet taken down and put away all of our Christmas decorations knowing it is our last year in this home, having now switched into high gear making the myriad of decisions about the details of the remodeling and repairs we are having done to the house on our new farm. It has been overwhelming, we have gotten tired and "grouchy", and then came the earthquake in Haiti to remind us to put all of our problems and grouchiness in a true perspective, i.e., our "problems" are what my husband has always liked to call "the problems of success".

Right after I re-oriented myself to how fortunate we are to only be worrying about "Are we over or under budget for this item?, Are we ahead, at, or behind our contractor's time-line with these choices?" Have you and I reached consensus on this decision?, etc, etc," I took a few minutes to start reading the book, To Bless the Space Between Us by John O'Donohue. The first chapter is suitably titled "Beginnings". From this book, I was able to share with my husband the Irish proverb "Tús maith, leath na hoibre," a good beginning is half the work. The sweet smile on his face (his instant recognition that all of this mess plus all these decisions are getting us closer to our dream) was heart-melting and something I'll remember forever. :-)

Here are just a few photos of our current mess, which represents incredible progress, a good beginning is half the work!

(Photo: New roof in progress, front view, hopefully the landscaping that we want to keep is resilient)

(Photo: New roof - back view. Chimney repairs have already been done to stop the leaking from that source)

(Photo: New siding on west side, new bedroom windows installed, new bathroom window blocked out almost ready to install, new roof being put on)

(Photo: New private entrance being made from the hallway bathroom to the main floor guest bedroom, all repairs were necessary due to the leaking plumbing from the upstairs bathroom)

(Photo: Gutting of the main floor bathroom, all plumbing is being replaced or repaired for this bathroom plus the bathroom above it so that nothing will leak anymore! Everything still functional is being reused or removed intact where possible in order to be donated to our local Habitat for Humanity's ReStore.)

I'd like to end with the following poem, a blessing, by John O'Donohue in this same book:

For a New Home

May this house shelter your life.
When you come in home here,
May all the weight of the world
Fall from your shoulders.

May your heart be tranquil here,
Blessed by peace the world cannot give.

May this home be a lucky place,
Where the graces your life desires
Always find the pathway to your door.

May nothing destructive
Ever cross your threshold.

May this be a safe place
Full of understanding and acceptance,
Where you can be as you are,
Without the need of a mask
Of pretense of image.

May this home be a place of discovery.
Where the possibilities that sleep
In the clay of your soul can emerge
To deepen and refine your vision
For all that is yet to come to birth.

May it 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 and slow.
May there be great delight around this hearth.
May it be a house of welcome
For the broken and diminished.

May you have the eyes to see
That no visitor arrives without a gift
And no guest leaves without a blessing.

We currently have a brass four-leaf clover over the main entrance to our home, given to us by my father when we first moved into our current home. Although it is no longer shiny and the stem has broken (life takes a toll on everything), we will take it with us to hang over the front door of our new home, a link of continuity to my family and the hope that our new home will also be "a lucky place, where the graces your life desires always find the pathway to your door."

As you begin 2010, cancer survivor or not, I hope your home is also lucky, a place of discovery, a house of courage and forgiveness, and that no visitor arrives without a gift or leaves without a blessing.

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

1 comment:

Happy said...

Great progress! What a lovely home you are creating -- how satisfying it must be to be creating it! And under the snow, your garlic is getting ready for spring. Thank you for sharing your hopes and dreams and inspirations -- I very much enjoy reading your blog posts and seeing photos of your activities and progress.