An ordinary Sunday

This morning, as light and the singing of a choir filtered through the skylight in the wall–my wall–one sentiment overwhelmed the others: gratitude. More specifically, thankfulness for this new place in which I’m at home after living out of a suitcase and relying on the generosity of others for more than a month. And hope at seeing these rooms transform into someplace livable and lovely.


Slowly this empty space, which resounded with echoes when I first talked to my mom on the phone here, is being filled with our things. Maybe it’s ungodly or materialistic to treasure these items the way I have been, but familiar objects provide an odd comfort for us. More than just feeding our desire to consume and possess goods (which I’ll admit is a real part of our love of things), furnishings are our raw, artistic materials. When we decorate a room, especially with a hand-selected assortment of odds and ends, we are creating a scene that no one else has or ever will again. For better or worse–probably a little of both–it gives us an enormous sense of pride and uniqueness. That’s why I’m not immediately rushing to IKEA to fill up my room with a much-needed bed frame / desk / couch. I’m sure I’ll end up there for the cheapness of it all, but what’s the fun in having the same living space as a million other people?


Looking at apartment after apartment, I discovered what I was searching for in a home. Closeness to the things important to me. Affordability, of course. And a certain level of charm–a quality I feared I would have to forfeit in order to have the first two.

Two blocks from our street… If you’ve seen the Royal Tenenbaums, this house will look familiar.

And so, waking up on a Sunday with my beloved hot water kettle near my air mattress bed (there’s nowhere to put the kettle in our tiny kitchen, of course), I enjoyed the comforting ritual of making myself a cup of coffee. As it brewed, I walked to the living room and listened to the nearby church choir, looking out into the rain and into the tiny, weedy garden outside our window. And I am grateful to be able to rest today.

Marilynne Robinson said it perfectly: “Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life.”


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