Let there be spaces in your togetherness
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you
Love one another but make not a bond of love
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.*
One of my oldest friends moved into a new house this last week. A grownup house, with a garden, a pantry, a sea view, a study. An old fifties house in St. James, filled with quirks and angles and hidden rooms. Filled with lime tiles and pink walls. A ‘fixer upper’. A real home.
It’s a hard move for her; a reluctant release from a painful but still familiar past. And to mark it, as she always does, she wanted us to share in the blessing of her new place.
Somber, a little silly, somehow deeply moving: we entered and walked slowly though the house, each of us given a reading for a specific room. Each required to stop. Think. My friend and her husband spoke of their intent for each room; their tender half-formed hopes, their desires. They told us of how the house seemed a gift, an unexpected find, made possible, sadly, through deep loss. A redemption of sorts. Something to consider and weigh.
And with the windows open to the sea, the sky, the mountains, and with votive candles and insense burning, they invited the elements in too.
Would that you could meet the sun and the wind
With more of your skin and less of your rainment
For the breath of life is in the sunlight
and the hand of life is in the wind-..
And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet
And the winds long to play with your hair.**
Over lunch and champagne we giggled and relaxed and talked about houses we’d lived in, the sea and of loss. And I thought about how we’ve lost our rituals. We sneer and sniff at moments which require us to reach, to connect to an energy beyond ourselves. We feel uncomfortable. Squirm with the thought that someone might be laughing at our gesture. Our need. Our insignificance.
And I thought about how this somehow makes us less. That by not celebrating these moments of our lives and selves, consciously and with others, that we lose an opportunity to be open to all possibility. That we lose an opportunity to feel full with what we have.
(A selection: *for the bedroom. **For the balcony. From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.)