It was nearly seven years ago that I peeked inside the window. I’d been led up to the front porch of that house, given just a glimpse. I peered inside, though I remember little of what I saw. Pale-colored carpeting, a couch. The door was never opened, I did not enter.
Truthfully, I prefer wood floors to carpeting. And though the house was nice – an obvious beauty for its time of construction in the 1980’s – the design was not reflective of my ideal, perfect home. But it wasn’t what it looked like. That house, and the land surrounding it, felt good.
So when I went back to my one-room studio with my three-year old, I started dreaming. I gave myself full permission, no matter how improbable it seemed. I began to fantasize about living in that house.
I conjured the feeling. Not only of the sweet house on the hill, but I figured I’d dream big. I’d pull in a loving man. Let a family fill the home. I went all the way. Happy living, ocean view, coco palms and a big, fat mango tree. I even put a dog into the picture.
And I literally drew a picture. Got out my colored pencils and began to sketch. Found an old manilla folder, opened it fully, and began to trace my vision on the inside. I spent hours outlining the dwelling and its surrounding fauna. The images were important, but what was most significant was the feeling I had as I drew. I knew the essential quality I wanted was love. That would be the foundation.
So I grounded all of my colored pencil sketches with words. “Family Love,” “Solid Love,” “Healing Love,” “True Love,” “Garden Love,” “Living Love”… every kind of love I could imagine infusing my future home, I wrote it down. I drew that dog in the front yard and put “Playful Love” by his red ball.
And when my picture was complete, I wrote a thank you note in the bottom right hand corner. I put myself right inside my creation, and felt all of the gratitude for having the chance to live that dream. It was an “as if” that I was making real through thankfulness.
When I was done, I closed the manilla folder, put it in a safe place on my small closet shelf, and moved on to mundane tasks. Probably something like making mac and cheese for two.
Seven years and three houses later, I still have my folder with my dream house sketch. The family part’s been fulfilled. I married the Bohemian last year and he’s brought nothing but true and solid love (along with day-long whistling) to our lives. In an interesting twist of fate, he’s been spending his days caring for the orchard of trees that border that little dream house – the one whose window I peeked inside, all those years ago.
And over the course of our last year together, the Bohemian and I have been on the house hunt. We’ve gratefully been able to enjoy the beauty of our current place, but our time here is temporary and quickly coming to an end. Few possibilities have been in sight, but for that one house – that very one that felt good – which we’ve been watching from a distance.
Hence, we began dreaming together. I wrote the Lamp Lighting post here in the Archives, which describes us gazing out across the field at our little A-frame dream. Paperwork and legalities would be the final deciding factor in whether we could actually settle there. The timeframe was uncertain. We just stood and looked on from afar. Imagined lighting up the windows from inside.
Well, yesterday we got our tour of our dream house. Move in date is set for February 1. The Bohemian can walk to work. There’s an ocean view where I can do my writing. Jeb can explore the surrounding jungle of a ten-year old’s dream.
But here’s the catch. There are still hoops to be jumped through. The paperwork’s not yet complete. So the premise on which we are moving into our house is this: if the legalities are not able to be finalized, our time in the house is limited. It could only be a few months for us there, a simple stepping stone until we find our next abode.
Or, if all things go through (and so far it looks like the paper trail is favorable), we can live in this sweet home indefinitely. With this in mind, we are moving in “as if.”
If you’ve been following the Archives this past week, you’ll know that the drought that’s been plaguing my family in California has been in my heart and mind. A few days ago my dad put in a request that all three of his children bring ocean water to our holiday gathering at his place. He’d been told that other ranchers had sprinkled ocean water on their land in times of drought, and the ritual had brought the rain.
After our dream house tour, the Bohemian, Jeb and I, go down to the ocean with a mason jar. I see a humpback whale spout out at sea. An albatross traces wings on wind above our heads. Jeb runs ahead to climb a tree. The Bohemian, still in his work clothes, opens his arms out wide to the sea, and takes in a deep, salted breath.
There are gray rain clouds lingering over the distant mountains as we scoop water from the ocean. A hearty wave comes and soaks both of the Bohemian’s feet, unexpectedly.
“Hah! That’s right! Let’s get wet!”
We kneel around our mason jar of sea water and make wishes for a smooth journey to California. We hope for an easy move into our new home. We ask that the ocean in our bottle will come with us to help make rain on parched land. We give thanks for it all.
I say, “Let’s imagine the sound of rain falling on Grandpa’s tin roof.”
We carry our jar of liquid back to the car, dreaming. Hoping. Moving on, as if.