Beautiful Homes and Gardens

I found myself at an english magazine stand. A rare opportunity in my life. I had the urge to pour myself into a bit of brain dead entertainment. I went from section to section with no satisfaction. I found myself in the home improvement section. I used to like this bit but now they have no attraction.

Why? I still like pretty things. Finding that unloved chair and making it into something beautiful. I used to love this stuff. How have I changed. I think the change started years ago when I got fed up with the talk about decorating according to a theme. Being of a rebellious nature I decided to simply strive to fill our family space with things that we loved and wanted to look at. A series of photos of good friends and times stuck to the wall with blutac, a mural of angels, an astroturf wall, a giant blow up bumblebee, you get the idea. So, now we live in a truck, not as much room. We still have a flying chicken clock, a sparkly “chandelier”, a 1940s kitchenette and old “gypsy” wallpaper. Why? because it makes us happy – not because it is cool.

Lately, I have been going even deeper into my weirdness. We have been in many, many homes. I have seen some perfect homes that are really nice to look at but leave me dry. I have seen other homes that are absolutely beautiful and make my heart dance. Right now we are in the beautiful home of Edna and Paulo in Portugal. Their home is stunning. Why? some of my favourite things would have to be the long table made of plastic patio tables, the pile of mattresses in the corner of the living room, The overflowing bowl of soaking beans in the kitchen and eager generosity with every movement. It has nothing to do with money or perfection. It has everything to do with love and humanity. I think about other homes I have been in that would fall into my category of “beautiful homes”, being with the Simsons in Germany, the Carters in U.K., The Hursts in Lisbon last week. I think the main reason is not because we are recipients of such selfless hospitality but because we are witnesses to their overflowing hearts. Homes should be extensions of ourselves, be it a house, a flat, a yurt, a truck or a tent. People should be able to see our hearts. We shouldnt be trying to make them perfect but true as an expression of our hearts, our passions, our lives. Lets stop hiding behind bricks and mortar, canvas or fibreglass. A beautiful home is one that lets us see truth in each others lives. To bear witness to lives, the dancing and the crying. Thank you to all who have allowed us to be in your beautiful homes and lives.


  • whitney on November 7, 2009

    Yes… thanks for that… VERY encouraging….
    I soooooo feel the same… we are currently in a big house with very few things… its been strange… we are little hobbit house people… and our favorite things are leaves rocks crystals found etc. It makes us happy….
    Many Blessings

  • Joanna on November 4, 2009

    That was beautifully put. A story told about Columba and his band of monks on Iona was that one wild and windy day they were having a fast and weren’t expecting visitors because of the atrocious weather conditions when a ship came into harbour. They quickly put together a meal and welcomed the travellers breaking their fast because hospitality was more important than fasting even though fasting was very important to that community. Not sure if the story is true but the principle of hospitality certainly is as your tale shows.