I sit and think of what happens in life when we start saying “Yes” to the things that scare us. I wonder what could happen if we leaned less on the outcome of a thing and started leaning more on the purpose behind a thing. Maybe it won’t turn out the way we had planned but could it really be so bad? Yes, maybe this brave and giant leap leaves us stranded in a place not on the map, but can we really chart glory anyway? What wonderful whimsy could be found if we greeted each day of our lives with the tenacity we feel pursuing someone we love? I imagine a world where we pour our energy and creativity into the things that connect us rather than the things that divide us.
And here she is – one yes in an unending series of yeses; a little structure snuggled up in a tidy, quiet neighborhood. Truthfully, she isn’t much to look at but blank canvases hardly are. I love everything about her and honestly, that’s just because she’s mine. My own little piece of space in a world wide and deeply growing.
She’s an invitation. Through that door, I get to set my mind free and put my burdens to the floor. She’s room for me to be who I am freely and entirely. A rest stop. A place to breathe, to eat, to listen to Bob Dylan and take my shoes off after a long and hard day. She is the continuation of the legacy of Home. Here, I get to cultivate with my hands what my grandmother cultivated with her own hands, and my mother with hers. I get to pick up that long, stretching thread of doing the best you can with what you have and run it down the fabric of my family.
I get to cultivate her. Shape her. Pour myself into her and make her into something that looks a little like me.
It’s a risk, an investment, a huge responsibility. I’m excited and nervous and I feel wise and foolish all at the same time. But through all the emotion and red tape and papers, here she lies: mine (well, technically the bank’s until I pay her off but that doesn’t sound nearly as poetic).
Maybe this won’t turn out the way I’d hoped. Maybe this whole adventure won’t be at all what I’d envisioned in my head but part of me hopes it won’t be. We don’t dream too big but much too small, as CS Lewis says. So whatever adventure awaits me and this little house of mine, I trust it will be as wild and magical as it possibly could be.
She’s a yes in the midst of fear; she’s a step of faith in the middle of a lot of not-so-sure’s. Isn’t she lovely? There’s purpose in her. And that purpose will stand through a thousand different outcomes because she’s a story just beginning.
Love is purpose driven, not outcome driven. So whatever may befall me and this little house, I know: I am loved. And as long as she’s mine, I pray she’s an embodiment of that love. I want people to walk inside and know instantly that they have a place in this world. Maybe it’s not out there, wandering one, but rest assured that it’s in here. Take a seat. Catch your breath. And be who you are. You’re free.
Maybe I have too much hope for some brick and mortar, but what is the point of a thing if not to make it alive with love? What’s the point to anything if you’re not going to love the hell out of it?
Purpose grounds me in the stirring what if’s. What if a tornado hits? What if I lose my job and go destitute and end up in a homeless shelter? (And you’re funny if you think I have not genuinely entertained each of these thoughts.) But what if the point to life is not to plan everything out (because we can’t) but to love deeply and well as long as something or someone is ours? We have no idea how long it will be ours, but as sure as dawn we are going to steward it well. And I believe that at the end of the day, it’s not about the longevity of a thing but the life of a thing. Life isn’t about accumulating and planning everything; it’s about learning more of who we are truly and growing deeper in love. Maybe our attitude just gets to be that however long this thing right here is in these hands, care for it well. Love it and invest in it. And when/if the time comes, we can let it go knowing we gave it our best.
So, little house: here’s to many more adventures and many more yes’s.