I've always wanted to fill my house with pretty things. The gentle, teasing dance of candlelight. Antique books with cracked spines and yellowing pages, modestly wearing the scars of time. Vibrant, beautiful flowers: ones that fill the whole kitchen with a wild, powdery scent. An ornate, full length mirror in the hallway by the door, because how do you tell if the shoes really go with the outfit otherwise? It was all I considered: when I thought about my 'dream' home.
Except. I know now, for certain, that it is not about things. I've been taught that is never about things. Not the green succulent aesthetic, or whether the plates are clean of last night's velvety chocolate cake (they're not), or if the leather of the sofa is perfectly intact. It isn't about how the morning sun glistens in through that window, or whether there's a doormat featuring a cute, neatly embroidered positive affirmation that has been slowly covered and caressed by autumn leaves and mud. Those things are lovely, yes,
It is instead, to me, now, about staying up a little later than you should because you end up sprawled on the carpet trying to figure shit out: why it is so confusing and messy and endlessly wonderful to be alive, and what the things are that you truly love, and whether the view you'd like to wake up to in five years time involves crashing waves or the hustle of the city, or a mug of steaming coffee and the soft, sleepy smile of a partner. It's about laughing: laughing until your cheeks hurt and your eyes are wet, and dancing like primary schoolers at a disco on the kitchen tiles, just because, and learning, together, that the whim of a minute: a single decision, can change everything and everyone.
It's about being challenged and taught and inspired, and listened to and appreciated and loved. I've realised that I am not at home in this house, but in those who have laughed and mused and jived, albeit terribly, within it. It's nothing to do with the walls themselves: but how I've felt between them.
Happy, I guess. Perhaps nothing defines 'home' more simply than where we are happiest. And in spite of ourselves, we build this in humans: in an amalgamation of precious, wonderful souls who bring meaning, and warmth, and colour.
And if that is the case, then this is the year of knowing that I could live
in a sodden cardboard box,
or in the spider closet under the stairs,
or beneath a sky of perpetual darkness,
and I would, undoubtedly
the most beautiful home of all.
- to them