Our room is comforting to me. It feels like home even though we’ve only been in it a little while. There are two large windows overlooking the street with a large tree shading them. Birds sing in the morning. The place is new to us, but there is a comfort in what we kept and brought with us. On the bed is the brightly embroidered bedspread we never intended to buy on our trip to visit our daughter and son-in-law when they were working in India. On the window sill sits a ceramic man who used to stand on a swing until it rotted years ago. It was a present from our friend Judy, who lived near us in three very different places – Detroit, California and Florida. It reminds me that friendships last despite distance.
Over my dresser hangs an art plate my father gave my mother when they were friends even after divorce. It depicts a Native American mother holding a child. It connects me to my mother and her love of the West, to my and her vocation as a mother, to my broken and precious family of origin, to how passionately I love our children and grandchildren. Sitting on my dresser is an old lamp that belonged to Bill’s mother. The base is a sea scene painted on frosted glass. The shade also has a sea scene. I think of her when I look at it and remember how very much she loved us.
All of this makes me think about how we were taught so dualistically – spirit and matter being different. Many of our religious traditions encourage us not to be attached to things. And yet, the things we brought with us to our one room mediate the spirit for me. I feel surrounded by the love that is somehow present even in these material things.
What things would you bring?