The holiday season is beginning and for most of us this time of year invites the opportunity to add festive touches and decorations to the nooks and crannies around the house. This holiday season is different for me. I’m in the process of sorting, sifting, and packing for a move in February, from our current home in California to a new home in Texas.
Anyone who has recently transported all their earthly belongings from place to place no doubt appreciates the upheaval that moving a household entails. The process of touching every item with discernment…. Does it go with me? Is it meant to be passed along to someone else? or Is it time for this thing to go to the trash bin?
While I’ve been carefully sorting and packing I’ve thinking a lot about the meaning of the words, hearth and home. The word Hearth holds Heart. The hearth of my home (beyond the little hearth by the fire) is the kitchen. This is where everyone gathers, where we come to create nourishment, bake and break bread, and share nature’s bounty with our stories of the day. The kitchen is the heart of our home where the pulse of life is palpable. Home is the sheltering container for the hearth and for the spaces that provide comfort, safety, and rest.
As I prepare to move I’m dismantling the sacred spaces of our home which will soon once again become a house until the new owners arrive to fill it with their spirits, stories, and daily living to make it their home. Houses need people to nourish the soul of the home into being.
The heartbeat of these stucco walls is syncopated with the rhythm of our days and nights. Our California home has been a canvas of colors and character unique to this little abode with it’s 30 year old bougainvilla that blooms every June, the hairline cracks in many of the tiles on the floor… caused by the earth tremors we have experienced through the 15 years we’ve lived here, the big black gas stove that warms the kitchen, and the tree out front that I swear has a face. Most of all it’s full of the love that has come through the door in all manner of friend, beloved, and the stranger… the angels that blessed us all.
I will miss this place. I’m beginning to think in terms of “lasts.” This will be the last Thanksgiving here, the last Christmas, etc. Thankfully, I love the new house in Texas. Over time it will find it’s own heart beat and there we’ll discover a new hearth and home. There are firsts to look forward to….. the first meal around the table, the first family celebration, the first Thanksgiving….
Ahhhh. Thanksgiving. As I give thanks this holiday I thank God for the luxury of having a home, a roof above our heads, a warm bed and full belly. I give thanks and pray for all those without… what I so often take for granted….. hearth and home.