Clearing the Space is not a home decor blog, although I read and enjoy a number of those blogs. I lived vicariously through those blogs when our house was for sale and we were living in an "unreal" stage set and then during the Christmas holidays when we had just started our move into our St Paul home and all our Christmas decorations were tucked in the furthest corners of the rented storage unit.
No, I don't write a home decor blog, but I have written frequently about living in an unsettled space and time as we inched our way towards our return to St Paul. Recently, I shared pictures of our new home as it was being painted and the idea of being settled felt remote. Well, the painters are gone, and it seems only fair to give you a glimpse of where we have so happily landed.
We are still in progress. You can see unanchored chairs in the dining room, awaiting delivery of a table, formerly my Dad's kitchen table, and now painted a crisp white. However , reading chairs are in place, and books fill the bookshelves. We are thrilled with our color choices and how expansive the newly white woodwork makes the first floor feel. The art work by Wisconsin artists we have collected in recent years seems as much at home as we are.
Not Our Norm
However, this move has been unlike any other we have experienced. Our typical method of operation is to work and work and work until no box is left unpacked and no picture is unhung. Cupboards full. Clothes organized in closets. Create home in record time. For example, I have such fond memories of our daughter Kate on the second day in our Madison home standing on the kitchen counters and arranging the colorful 40's pottery we had collected in Ohio on top of the cupboards. That pottery is still in the storage unit and who knows how long it will be there, for there is no room for it in The Little House.
There is not room in this house for many of the treasures we have collected over the years, and our challenge is to allow this house to evolve, practicing simplicity as a new form of abundance. How easy it would be for this house to become The Overstuffed House, instead of The Little House. And so little by little we make decisions about what works in this house and what will add to our pleasure in this house.
An Ongoing Process
Each weekend Bruce will bring a load from the storage unit in Madison, and we will sort and decide what to keep, what to continue storing, what to donate, what to sell. The process sometimes feels like one step forward and two back, but in reality it is another opportunity to practice patience and intention.
We are attempting to listen to what this space, but also this stage of our lives calls for and offers us. And while the Big Picture has been clear for some time, the particulars, the specifics, of how many bowls I really need and have space for in my small kitchen and which lamps will light our way and which ones will only get in the way is not always so obvious. Instead, of pronouncing the house "done," and announcing we are settled and open for the business of living here, we are living in the evolution, in the ongoing process.
How fortunate we are! How happy we are!
What are you in the midst of that feels like a new stage? What is evolving for you? I would love to know.