Rooms, rooms . . . rooms, rooms, rooms.
In rooms we laugh, in rooms we cry,
In rooms we’re born and in rooms we die.
But that’s just part of the story, for even children are aware of the ‘feel’ of rooms. The ‘feel’ that affects us, for with nothing said, children know if it’s part of a ‘home’ or just a ‘house’ and if the people there are up-tight, or relaxed, and open.
The rooms we grew up in, and those we now live in, silently but surely shaped and continue to shape our lives, for we fit inside them like a hand in a glove. If the glove is soft and comfortable, or stiff and unbending as steel, the lives lived there become the same. We mentally ‘freeze’ in rooms that are furnished in the stark manner of a hotel room, or by being so precisely planned and decorated that they belong on a magazine cover. surely not for real people.
So impersonal that if I try to picture a tousle-headed child running in from play, wanting to share something stupendous with his mother, I wonder if that child would be welcomed or chastized for bringing ‘all that dirt into the house’.
I scan such rooms, to see if there is some corner where you could curl up with a child, book, cuppa tea, some knitting, or, instead, if people would drift off to a den or bedroom that might have a more friendly atmosphere.
I like rooms with furniture and decorations that people and time have touched. I lovingly use many of Gram’s things, items that knew Brad’s hands, a wall of bookshelves my Dad made, handwork of Mom’s and gifts from friends. No decorator planned my rooms, they just grew as people, time, and deaths left their treasured marks.
I have a fireplace, rockers, pillows, knick knacks, books in every room, and the sun is free to splash over my floors and carpets. Crazy Cat, sits on the window seat and children can mingle with adults in a friendly give and take .
My Dad and Gram, whose partners had stepped into one of God’s Next Rooms. will always be part of my kitchen. I see them with tea, coffee, leftover pie or cookies, while talking of the days when they were young. All while I would be doing my stuff, and two young boys played with their toys as the warm winter sun shown upon them there at our feet.
A room where there were uncountable koffee klatches with the artist, Beverly Wheeler Mastrim, who lived next door, and who will remain forever a part of my rooms.
We remember the rooms we grew up in, those of our own first home, and the sweet smelling rooms of our grandparent’s homes. Our heart can break in some room, and then in perhaps the very same room, where we took a deep breath, pulled ourselves together and decided that after all, life was still worth living.
And finally when our years are finished, we die in a room, and go on to some other of God’s Rooms. They’re all ‘living’ rooms, so be loving as you furnish yours because they will shape those who will dwell there.
But my mind wont let well enough alone, and more thoughts come to me and this time my mind goes to my unknown ‘before’ and ‘after’ rooms. All babies are born, in pretty much the same way, but where did I, the Spirit come from? ‘Tis said, “God created Heaven and Earth”, and I think that speaks of Rooms, and not only Eden, but far away rooms. like our continents, as well as distant ‘planet rooms’ that make our solar system look minuscule.
So, this just-born Ethel entered this Human Room, fine, fine, fine, but where did that Spirit come from, and with absolute perfect timing, slip into that Machine called Ethel, and shock it to cry out, and give it Life with its first wondrous deep breath of air? And when that joining doesn’t take place? Did someone make an error of timing? Or what?
I don’t know, but then when I leave this body? Well, of course, the Ethel part of me will be buried or cremated, but what happens to the Real Me? I think I, and you too, will be guided to some yet unknown Room. A different Room where I can learn more of what God wants me to know, or to ‘fix’ spots where I’ve erred in this Human Room. So many trillions of Spirits have lived here as humans and we’re all so different in experiences and reactions that surely we all are not destined for the same next Room.
God must have created many more Rooms awaiting each of us. Rooms that have compassionate and loving learning to give. I think so, for, you see, I know I’m far from being a ‘finished’ person, and yet have no idea of what it is I need. But God does, and I think there must be the right Room awaiting me. And the right one, also, for you, and you and you. Hope we see each other there.