n my home-making, I have learned to create vignettes. Curated corners of beauty and function, dependability, and fuel for the imagination. Instead of decorating a whole room altogether in one comprehensive layout with coordinating colors, I put together small, cozy spaces. In my childhood home, my mother was a natural at this. She would take her limited home décor budget, her simple space, and bring delight to all these little shelves, tables, corners, and sitting areas of our home. Everyone that walked in our door felt a warmth and a brightness—the material becoming sacred ground where growth could happen. And I, too, feel this when I enter into her never-empty nest.
The process is fairly simple and it is as follows: I pay attention to where I myself like to sit and be in my home or the places people tend to gather when they are here. There, right there, is a place that needs an identity of its own. An environment needs to be formed, one of beauty and purpose. Does it have a place to put a cup of coffee? Is there something green and alive near there? What is the light source? Is there a blanket nearby or a place for the feet to rest? Would this be a good place for one person or two or five to be able to sit?
A little over a year ago now, we moved into our current home: An outdated, but well-loved 80-year-old house with plenty of room in one of our favorite parts of Fort Wayne, Indiana. With anticipation, my six-months pregnant self entered into the task of finding the places throughout our rooms to bring order and beauty. I began to notice this rhythm of where I wanted to be as the day moved from dawn to dusk. Any day I was home, the rooms where we would live had an interesting, progressive order.
I was moving to stay in the warmth of the sun, the brightness of its light.
As the earth would rotate through the day, unnoticed as the movement is by all of us, I would find a better spot. At around 8:15, my older two kids have left for school and I like to sit in our front room. The sunlight comes through the big window and pours across our rustic, wood coffee table. By the time I lay sweet baby Jubilee down for her nap mid-morning, the sun comes in through the upstairs nursery window, and I position the chair just-so. A little before noon, the sun comes through our set of 4 tall dining room windows, and geometric bars shine on sill-plants and the hardwood floor. By late afternoon, our family room with it’s old-moss-colored carpet becomes all glowy. The sun gives us all a new energy. By dusk, we run out of space to keep up with the sun. It dips behind trees and houses, outlining them with colors different each day.
The warmth of the sun, the brightness of its light.
Annie Dillard wrote,
“I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam. It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind. Light, be it particle or wave, has force: you rig a giant sail and go. The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.”
To me this felt so true. There is something in me and in you that craves the energy and life and beauty of the sun. We are made to seek this source of brilliant life. This journey toward the Source of Life is where I want to be. Just like my rhythm of seeking sunbeams through windows, I want a rhythm of seeking truth and light—in Jesus.
Similar to the Sun, God is always there, always near. It isn’t He that moves away, the earth shifts and we shift with it. Keep moving and seeking, keep adjusting your sails, to stay in the warmth and brightness of His light. We are created body, mind, heart, spirit. If our whole entity together is a sail, “hone and spread” it so that it catches the “merest puff.”