I love homes. Some of my earliest remembered thoughts about the concept of “home” came from books. As a child, the opening pages of Lousia May Alcott’s “Little Women” planted an idea in my head about how a home should feel.
“It was a comfortable old room, though the carpet was faded and the furniture very plain; for a good picture or two hung on the walls, books filled the recesses, chrysanthemums and Christmas roses bloomed in the windows, and a pleasant atmosphere of home peace pervaded it”
This simple description lives in my imagination as a room, not very large, lit by natural light, overstuffed with large, soft sofas, books and love. There is a soft haze that permeates the image in my head, with little particles of dust that explode and float all around you when you take a seat. This is not so far from how the homes of my grandparents felt. One filled with voices and people and antiques and paintings and baking. The other filled with the smells of the orchard and maple syrup and the mysteries that only small, crooked upstairs rooms filled with blankets and old pictures of relatives can offer. So I bring all of this to adulthood with me. I am always hoping that the home we are creating now holds the same kind of authenticity of family that the homes I knew so well as a child did.
I am not sure that I will ever know if I have been successful. At least not until my grandchildren come and scramble and explore and find corners to read quietly in, surrounded by bright bits of dust in the sun. I still hope to have an attic room one day, secret and dark and lit by a single window, where I can leave a chest of photos to be discovered by my children. Or my children’s children.
Until then, I take immense pleasure in getting to explore the homes of others. As a photographer, I have had the good luck of finding a friend who has a passion for creating spaces and for whom the meaning of home runs deep and dear. I find it fascinating to see how these houses are transformed into homes for others, everyone so unique and different in details and energy.
I am not even sure why I am thinking about this today. I have been away and maybe I am just taking a minute to recognize how much happiness there is in being home. It is quiet here today and that does not happen often.
One of my kids has just left home for the first time. I only hope that for all the adventures he will now have, that he misses him home a teeny bit as much as home misses him. I am just adding this little section to my blog to share images that strike me as home. From new projects to photos from my history that I am organizing, this is just a space for those caught details that bring that simple feeling of comfort back to me.