Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Edward In His Favorite Chair


When we brought Edward home, almost four years ago now, he sighed a big sigh, and fell fast asleep in front of the fire. As it was just a few days before Christmas, naturally there were lots of errands to run, lots of gifts to deliver, and we took him with us on each little outing. For a few days, every time we put him in the car, his spirits plummeted. I could see him, through the rear view mirror, head drooping, eyes lowered - he looked like he didn’t have a friend in the world. Pulling back into our drive after holiday rounds were done, a remarkable transformation took place in Edward. Smiling his big smile, dancing on his new leash, he could hardly contain his happiness. He would run up the front steps and bounce around at the door waiting to be let in with such happy anticipation. Finally, I understood. With each errand we ran, he thought it was another trip to another home. He’d been on the streets for a while, and shuttled around a good bit after being rescued by the shelter. He was overjoyed when he realized he wasn’t being taken away again, but was coming back to the same place, his place, the place he wanted so badly to call home. Well of course, it broke my heart right into when I realized what was going on.

Home. Just four letters, but such an abundant word that encompasses so much. A place, a feeling, a concept, an idea of belonging. Upon entering the home of a new client for the first time, I often ask them this question, “where do you put the Christmas tree?” An unexpected inquiry, and one that leads them to talk about their house in a different way. Not just as a series of functional rooms, but as a vital part of who they are, a tangible translation of their personalities, their dreams, what they value in life. Anyone can live in a pretty house, but the real joy comes from living in a home that is truly you. Your sanctuary, your haven, your home. A place where one is truly oneself, where the door can literally be closed to the outside world with its clamor and discord.

As Edward now chooses which of his favorite spots to nap when he’s sleepy, gets a drink of water from his own china bowl when he’s thirsty, or hops up in his favorite chair to while away an afternoon, he is at home, and he knows it. His home. His place of belonging. The street outside seems so far away from in here.
It’s a nice feeling, for both of us.

“There is a magic in that little world, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits”
Robert Southey