Yesterday I finally took down the pine garlands that had decorated our banisters since the beginning of December. The Christmas decorations came down December 26th but I opted to leave the banisters covered in pine branches, needles and cones through more snowy days. I had cut and woven them all by hand onto the two sided staircase of our front living room that first week in December. It took over 16 hours of nonstop work, which was mainly why I wasnt ready to rip it all down only 3 weeks later. Plus, it made the house more cozy and oddly held zero hint of Christmas decor when the berries and burlap were removed.
The trash can was curbside for pickup so I decided to make a midday firepit moment - to dispose of my dried botanicals and to take a breather and watch the snow fall and the flames rage. I do love a raging fire contrasted with swirling flakes.
At one point I turned to see Doug watching me through the first floor glass. At another I found Savannah warming herself fireside, taking a break from art. "The campfire smell had beckoned her."
Many times as I tear down these seasonal decoration endeavors which rotate in and out of our living space, I ask myself why I put so much into our nest. I wonder if it all really matters, if it is a shade of vanity, and I ask myself once again what is the purpose in it all. I wonder, do I really need to redecorate the porch every month?
And each and every time, Edith meets me in my mind. She reminds me anew and spurs me onward in creating a home instead of a house. She addresses me firmly,
“Interior decoration is not just one's artistic efforts, but it is that which your home (even if it is just a room) is. If you are 'decorating' with clothes draped on every chair, with scratched and broken furniture- it is still your interior decoration! Your home expresses you to other people, and they cannot see or feel your daydreams of what you expect to make in that misty future, when all the circumstances are what you think they must be before you will find it worthwhile to start. You have started, whether you recognize that fact or not! We foolish mortals sometimes live through years not realizing how short life is, and that TODAY is your life.”
― Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking
My home expresses the deepest me to others. The God given cerulean of my eyes and the mahogany of Dougs enrobe every room. My daydreams of writing and reading seaside are reflected in every space. The writers I most enjoy can be met, are within arms reach, in every chair. Sculpture from wind, water and fire (natural findings) share surfaces with practical tools, ever telling the story that the greatest of creativity, art, is just outside the door. Our family priorities can be seen through fabrics chosen, numbers of chairs available and intuitiveness in placement of objects. Scripture can be viewed in any space. I have never bought furniture on credit and most every accessory in our home is from nature or from a thrift store of some sort. It is not necessarily an expensive set of surroundings, rather it reflects us. From placement of the chalkboard bucket list in our dining room to the sawhorse desk in Dougs study, my hope is that if I were not home and someone entered this space that they could know much about me without ever having met me. I hope they could read the story I have written here. Even knowing from the front porch that they are welcome here and that within these walls we celebrate every month of the year is important to me. I hope they would know that I am not waiting for my life to begin. And that they would feel at peace, as I do in this space.
I used to tell my design clients as I left them for the last time "to enjoy what they had accomplished, but to remember that it was all going to burn." I wouldnt say that anymore. Instead I would say to keep up the good work of trying to tell the story of who you are becoming by the way in which you live. TODAY is your life.