We have come face to face with space, with the space that was our home and the space that will be our home. Yesterday I wrote about curtains, about having the first thing that will be physically part of our new home. Curtains seemed relatively safe for a first purchase since they could easily be removed. Today we bought plumbing.
Plumbing is a far more serious commitment than curtains. You can take curtains off the windows and carry you with them if you like. Disassembling a bathroom vanity to take part of it with you is a bit more complicated.
We wavered over buying the sink, about buying anything for the new house. I knew the sink was a good buy. I bought a fair amount of plumbing and fixtures over the past few years having done remodels on both of our mom’s houses and on our house that burned. There is a strange sort of comradely with faucets and sinks for me. I understand them. I learned to understand them by loving my house that burned. Now I the house I loved has left me with the knowledge that I use to purchase faucets for its replacement house. I am comfortable cruising the internet, cup of tea in my hand, trying to find just the right mix of things to help a room beautiful.
This beautiful blue sink was on ebay at Basic Elements Design. We liked a blue glass vessel sink with a waterfall faucet. We liked it because it reflected light and was a beautiful color. We liked it because it has a voice. We are going to have a half-bath that is reasonably long and we wanted reflected light in end of the room so that at night, or even during the day, it can be magical.
We have crossed the threshold of planning to have a house to planning the house. It is not a distinction I could have made even a week ago. The house is not a hazy dream that is part of the lingering cloud of the fire. This week our tasks shifted from replacing the past to building the future. Buying things that are not movable is our silent affirmation that we walking out of the ash of the fire.
It is supposed to be zero or below by the end of the weekend. More snow is on the way. The ground where we need our foundation to be is not nearly as ready to be a foundation as we are to have a foundation. Curiously, in reality, we are probably not any more ready than the ground is. As we dredge through ashes looking for the bridge from the old to the new, realizing fully that the old and the new spaces are one in the same and not alike at all, we have fixed upon the idea that as long as we don’t have a house we have a life that includes the fire but it is not directly part of our home.
This point point bears some thought. When we go home to our land, to that place on this earth that we uniquely share a bond with we will have to deal with the absolute reality of our former home, and our stuff, not being there. As long as we are in temporary housing, even though we know the house is gone and have seen the hole in the ground and sifted through the houses remains, it almost feels like we are on a trip and when we go home our house and our stuff and our old life will be there.
Our old life will not be there.
We will have new space in a familiar place. When I worked on my both of our mom’s houses and on ours that burned it was interesting to me to see what the rooms looked like when they were emptied of the things that lived in them. Each room was familiar to me but hardly recognizable when the familiar things were moved from them.
Sometimes I would just pull up against the wall and rest a spell and listen to the room. My dog Sophie tolerated being with me because I was there but letting empty space wash over her like I let it do to me must not translate into dog. For me there is a hallowedness in space that we usually are too busy or have filled with too many things to notice. Space should not always be empty. Filling space is good. The things that can fill a space, spare or opulent, tangible or sound, light or vision are all good in their way. Space is a servant. Space is a gift. Space befriends us and ushers us in to be with the things it holds.
The space of our new house beckons. The space offers security. We will belong to it and it will befriend us and shelter us while we seek the things–tangible, light, vision and sound–that belong in that space with us that is our new home.