Years I had been from home,
And now, before the door
I dared not open, lest a face
I never saw before.
Emily Dickinson knew about home, as a writer and a poet in the mid-18th century she had experienced death and disappointment which eventually led to her choosing a life of self-containment in her home.
I find her story fascinating as I try to imagine what it would be like to wander around my own home for decades, never seeing the light of day.
Emily was writing and connecting with the outside world but did not have face to face contact from the late 1860s until her death in 1886. Just think of how the days would stretch out with nothing and no one to entertain you! I think that is why much of the creative writing genius was produced during this time period. Long days with little to do but write.
Our home is the Mecca of our lives, that place where we let our hair down and let our true selves be revealed. Would you be willing to stay in your home for almost 30 years with little or no contact from the outside world? I wonder what that would be like, my maximum would be about 48 hours before I would run screaming out the front door talking to anyone who was wandering by.
We have equipped our lives with every imaginable electronic convenience which would enable us to live isolated for a very long time but what would happen if you had these things removed from your home? If you had no Internet, cable or electronic devices at your disposal what would you do with your time? Try to imagine your home itself as the entertainment, how would it sustain? I think the first thing most of us would do is clean, we would busy ourselves with those forgotten corners and closets and would be ultra-organized inside of a week.
There would be streak-free windows and dust-free floors and our home would glow from the attention it was receiving! What could we discover about our home that usually gets overlooked during our busy days?
You might rediscover the joy of a deep soak in your tub; you might have unearthed some long forgotten scented oil while you were purging your bathroom cabinets and take advantage of some warm water and relaxing fragrance.
Maybe you have found a favourite pair of yoga pants and that book you didn’t finish last summer and you gravitate towards your favourite chair to curl up for the afternoon. Try to imagine you are Emily Dickinson in the 18th century as you wander your own halls rediscovering the love and entrancement you once had with your home.
Shut out the world and allow your home to entertain you and draw you back to the space you so lovingly decorated and built. Bake, dance, rest and revive your soul and let your home be the environment that romances you and makes you feel safe. Your home loves you, it’s just been awhile since you may have noticed!
Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.