Most of the time, as a writer, when I pen something that I find witty or intriguing or heartfelt, I share it with as many people as I can, because words come to life when they’re shared. Sometimes, though, sometimes I write things that are carved directly out of my soul, and I keep them close to my chest. I wrap my arms around them like protective covers shielding them from the critical and often unforgiving commentaries of the world. They remain my hidden treasures. This is one such a piece. It is a reflection of my heart and soul in words unlike almost anything I’ve ever written before. I have wanted to keep it for myself, but tonight I am persuaded that words are meant to be light and life to the world, and they cannot shine if we refuse to let them out of our drawers. So tonight I show you a piece of my soul, and I hope it inspires beauty of your own.
There is a winsome little old house that I know of out in the country. Alighted, she sits presiding over genuflecting hills, and each morning the sun crowns her billowing chimney. Cloaked in charm and weathered brick, she is tried and true. Open armed her whitewashed porch spreads, eager to envelop the world-worn in her convalescing embrace; “come and rest,” she beckons.
Her scarlet door shines as a beacon to the lost and weary; a door that is without lock. To step across the threshold is to fall into assuaging solace. She is guardian of memories past, and Muse of those yet to come. Her floors have been well tread and her walls painted in laughter. In the kitchen, her heart, there is an earthen vessel where stew is simmering, and in the belly of the oven there are loaves of bread crusting golden. The dining room curtains have been drawn back and an elongated worn oak table is set; a portrait of invitation offered through expansive windows. From the beaten path there can be seen the glow of warmth and welcome. Souls will gather here soon, and this winsome little old house will shelter each one; watchful and protective.
Flushed cheeks are kissed, and fervent embraces draw sojourners inward as winter rushes to greet them in their haven. Her inherent warmth permeates frigid hearts; melodically she breathes life back into the listless. She revels in the reacquaintance of these too long removed kith. Chairs are filled, cups run over and bowls are found bottomless; worries melt beside waxen candles, while outside tempest winds summon a bitter storm. It is easy to linger here, where neither soul nor appetite is left in want.
As the sun and endurances wane a blithe host ushers the fellowship inward still, to an intimate room where over-plushed couches wait, ready to cradle satiated bodies. Books and pillows are strewn about as every chair and cushion is nestled into; nary a clock in sight.
Infused teas and pressed coffees are passed to and fro, while soft murmurs meld with crackles from the hearth. This is a place where stories are chronicled and imaginations are regaled with adventures past. This is a place of unveiled secrets and discovered mysteries. Hymns are sung and lithe hands enliven ivory keys. Hearts are rendered deferential here, souls are quieted, and love covers the multitudes.
When the air is thick with tranquility and eyelids are heavy, gentle hands guide the way through arched corridors, where there are found a myriad of cozy nooks. Every room is draped in obsidian, perforated only by the ebbing glow from a fire’s remains. Thick pillows await dream filled heads, and heavy warmed quilts adorn the many beds that will soon lull their companions to sleep. One by one they surrender to the enchantments of night, and soon the last of the guest room doors is latched. Every soul is at rest, and all is still in the winsome little old house.
A candle illuminates a long narrow corridor that winds and weaves beyond the bedrooms, stealing away into the deeps of the home; and then, at the very last, comes upon a white wooden door. The iron latch clicks; heavy and creaking the door yawns open, revealing an esoteric place. Tucked away in the furthest recesses of the house the modest room sits, waiting, enduringly benevolent. It is bathed in a warm glow emanated by a fervently burning hearth fire. Beside it, in the midst of the room, a solid wooden desk faces a sweeping picture window, where naught but the continuous smattering of snow against the glass can be seen. The door is locked behind and the soul begins to drink in the beauty of this hallowed place.
Pen and paper fan the desk top, a writer’s empty canvass. The heavy chair is settled into and, with eyes closed, the fire’s fervor penetrates skin and bone, ministering a placid spirit. At first the words come slow and thick; literary molasses; carefully thought and overthought; but soon the ink flows candidly in familiar rhythm. Page upon page is filled with an impassioned heart’s musings; tears and laughter and innermost secrets are felt freely here, in this place where there is room only for truth and brevity. Hours rush by with ferocity as lives and legacies are penned and committed to print and heart. Every chapter lays anchor to her very foundation. With every confession the pride of men is flushed out in tears. With every love letter strength is renewed. It is upon the shoulders of this place that the winsome little old house builds her very heritage.
Through the frost bitten windows a glow has appeared; darkness is acquiescing to dawn. Intensity abates with a contemplative sigh; all that was had has been given; a soul has surrendered here, to these pages. Upon rising from the wooden desk and approaching the window, the world and its roads are found to have disappeared from sight; blanketed in a repentance that glistens white beneath the pastel hues of morning.
With a last demure glance behind, the door closes and the room lies again silently, clandestinely, in wait for another night.
Down the hall the house is stirring; guests will soon be rising. Coffee is pressed and once again set on the dining table; there are dreams to be heard, now.
These travelers, they come and go; some stay for years, others merely pass through. At times the house resonates with life, and others it sits in reflective stillness. But there is always a room kept waiting for me, in a winsome little old house that I know of, somewhere deep in my soul.