Last night an indoor soccer game finished up in a designated area, and the kids were seeing a friend to the door. A last little play found shattered glass raining all over the front hallway, a Roy Vickers print newly glassless, and guests left unattended during clean up. Moments like this give me a chance to rethink my philosophy of home life.
Early in parenting, I coveted a friend’s perfectly tidy home. Craig and I talked and realized we’re book/paper folk, and there’s a clutter that comes with being book/paper people. Certainly electronics limit some of the clutter but not all.
Then when we first moved into our hundred plus year old house (Last Christmas we were at Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains and laughing that historical sites are made out of homes just barely older than ours.), I would fret that the last people lived in this house 50+ years without doing much damage, and we’re here a year creating more wear and tear than the last fifty. Craig would remind me, “It’s a home, not a museum.”
Last night one of the guests commented on the “decorating” of our home. Inside I was laughing at the lack thereof in my mind. My Mama made sure I understood symmetry, order, colour, coordinating patterns. I could probably aesthetically enjoy a thought out “decorating” scheme, but our current home has been designed around “story and comfort.” I only realized this after I reflected on the guest’s query.
Much of what’s out and about in our home comes with a story, the story usually involves someone we love or an experience we’ve shared. Looking at objects – useful or just decorative – that remind me of people and shared moments reblesses me with the person or the moment. But the truth is the look is chaotic rather than planned beauty. Comfort matters too – cozy blanket, a place to put your feet, huggable pillows. Again what’s comfortable does not always look beautiful
Another person and I were discussing homelife, and he pointed out that places full of life, like a kindergarten, are a bit chaotic. The tidiest places in any city will usually be the cemetery, a place of death. My friend was trying to encourage me to see life rather than chaos.
Craig and I had these words read at our wedding:
By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3-4