“There is an Indian proverb that says everyone is a house with four rooms: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.”― Rumer Godden
At 7:45 am, the car in reverse, something catches my eye in the review mirror as the garage door opens. It’s a bird’s nest in mid-creation; thin twigs and strands of field grass have tumbled down. A brief sadness floats through me, wishing she had chosen a sturdier place for her home, her work now dismantled.
The fallen nest is like living abroad with its moments of feeling unmoored. I relate to her temporal housing, like a sandcastle eroding with a vanishing wave, or a hermit crab shedding its shell. International moves and occasional cultural mishaps have taught me to create a safe refuge; not just a house, but a home.
Post errands, I step with a mug of tea into the light-filled room that buoys my spirit. Through the open window, soft light spills onto the tiles and a gentle breeze rustles the palms. The curtains billow like sails, curling around the bookshelf holding crooked stacks of travel journals and stories of empowered women.
Taking centering breaths, I sense the cosmic connection in this room; a haven for soul crafting and building castles in the sky. “A woman needs a room of her own,” Virginia Woolf said. This is where I begin my morning ritual of meditation and writing. I call it my sanctuary, a space to hear my thoughts and seek inspiration.
Each time we change houses, I claim a space as mine, surrounding myself with favorite photos, art, and travel mementos that feel like me; a snapshot of the world from my perspective.
Like the concept of “Wonder Rooms” (from the German word Wunderkammern) in the Victorian Era, when cabinets of curiosities were popular, I display my most cherished objects: rosewood tea boxes with stationery collected from museums and hotels, the mint and gold silk carpet I hand-carried home years ago from Marrakesh, a special hand-painted porcelain globe. I light a candle, which stands proudly in its decorative stand from Kusadasi, relishing memories of standing in the Blue Mosque and exploring markets across Europe.
A nest made of Vetiver root from Swaziland holds shells and feathers, and an Italian glass dish cradles healing stones and talisman. A dented singing bowl rests alongside a bottle of ink from Paris. A lantern with stars and moons illumines the corner of the room.
I roll out my yoga mat, spritzing a blend of essential oils into the air. Sanity returns and I feel myself expand in this sacred space where I rekindle dreams and am restored.
“I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go… but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.” – Edith Wharton from her story, “Fullness of Life:”
Do you have a sacred space or nook?
What are the precious objects that make you feel grounded?
Love your words and Photos.Your insight and creativity is inspiring. As you travel from home to home you are intentional about making your space your own. I have lived in this house for 10 years, yet do not have a space that is my own. How can that be? Something to add to the 2021 must have list. Lots of love my dear friend. Namaste
Just beautiful and so calming!
That was so moving. I love the introduction because I think that it reflects how we should live our life. You are such a wonderful writer. Every time I read What you have written, I am there with you. Don’t stop sharing because I know everyone enjoys it as much as I do.
So glad my friend Dana Thor introduced me to your lovely blog! Beautiful quotes at the beginning and end. My guy and I have moved three times in the past 11 years, and are considering another move. Yikes. But each house/condo became a home as soon as we placed our sacred objects on the walls (family photos) and set down the two antique dressers from ancestors, and well-used dining room table and chairs that speak of many family dinners/ holiday times/and my writing students who wrote their stories while gathered at that table. Each room is sacred to me with the vibration of love shared.
Absolutely lovely, peaceful and thought provoking. —a real treasure!
Love this…so much is resonating and connecting with me!
THanks again for something to give thought to, serious thought not trivial. Had Bridge with
Mom last night, she’s lovely and vital as usual.
Keep Carpe coming.