“Everything has a beginning, a start in life. Everything was once new. Every yard of fabric comes fresh and wet off the dyer’s table. Every board leaves the sawmill gleaming. That’s just the beginning of the history. Living in our houses is about letting our rooms mellow, letting our fabrics fade and soften, letting our tables scuff and scar, letting our rooms capture our stories. Those are our traces; they’re born of our accidents and intentions.” - Essay by Dominique Browning, Kinfolk Magazine
You know those perfect Sunday mornings, curled up in warm blankets, morning sun coming through the blinds, coffee in one hand, book in the other. Then you stumble across a line that all of a sudden floods your heart with light and you catch yourself audibly whispering “yes!” Well for me that happens (at a minimum) quarterly when my Kinfolk subscription graces my doorstep. Every issue I find at least a handful of essays or images that echo the exact same wavelength as my soul.
This spring edition of Kinfolk is all about the Home. The concept of “Home” is sometimes hard for me, as I like to consider myself as having a traveler’s spirit, and often times the idea of “settling in” to a place, for me, can feel like a burden. (Take the minor panic attack I had when trying to start a wedding registry as an example.) The accumulation of “stuff” terrifies me!
But it is not as if I don't want to own anything. Spending some time walking around our little apartment, I can see that it has been filled with so many treasures that make us smile, and our hearts sing. They are our traces.
I am so thankful for some of the things that have been gifted to us; the coffee table that was once a desk for writing sermons, a quilt, a couch, an artist's work that I have long admired, a box full of handwritten letters.
I always want a cupboard filled with random colorful coffee mugs. Even the ones with little chips in it! For those serve as reminders of our accidents and to slow down when handling what is precious.
I want to invest in things that will age well, treasures that have greater meaning. Things not meant to be disposed and replaced, but passed on.
Imperfections should be celebrated; the wooden cutting board etched with many dinners made, the rings from coffee cups and conversations shared, the worn out quilt that welcomes guests, all work together to create evidence of a life well lived.
I will still struggle with bringing in new things. For me building a home isn’t about acquiring all the pretty matching things and then it’s been accomplished, but instead a journey of experiences that lead to the collection of little treasures that will become pieces of our history.
Still, there is comfort in the reminder that “everything has a beginning” and that by honoring the passage of time they will become reflections of our story.
For me, I feel like I have already found home, it is in the comfort found from being connected to the people I love. What I want to build now is a beautiful, authentic, handcrafted, blend of both accidents and intentions, life.