Your life is a house. You are the space in which it exists.
At first the space has no name to go by.
No one to claim, “this is mine.”
You are this space of infinite possibility.
Empty of all but imagination.
The dream of the whole world exists in this space.
And then one day, the space is claimed.
It is portioned and sectioned and marked : “private property”.
People will think twice before treading here now.
All will know that they are only welcome with your consent.
Here, in this space, you must build your house.
Take the time to dig deep and lay your foundations well.
It may seem slow and tedious work,
But you will only know its value when
The brutal storms of circumstance come knocking at your door.
As you lay your foundation,
The weather can be both a friend and a foe.
Cracks in the earth may appear from the heat of the scorching sun.
Or the ground may be softened by torrential rain.
You cannot control the circumstances of your foundation years.
You can only do your best to keep true to your purpose.
As you erect the frame of your house,
Ensure that the structure is sound,
And aesthetically true to who you are.
Don’t worry about how big, small, grand or ordinary it is
Nor what the neighbors might whisper and think
This is your house and yours alone
It does you no benefit to alter its designs to please the sensitivities of others
Build your windows wide and in every direction
These are the windows of your mind
They will welcome the light of wisdom and patience on bleak winter days
And the winds of fresh possibility when spring emerges
Keep them open as often as you can
So that you are never a stranger to the chirping of sparrows
The laughter of children
Or the aromas of freshly baked apple pie
Keep the furnace of your heart always lit
Even if you do not need its warmth in the moment
Even if the matters of the world require your urgent attention
Attend to your furnace often
Watch the flames childishly play and dance about
No matter how many years roll on by
No matter how the world changes just as your body changes
The flame in your furnace will never age
It is just as it was the day your house was built
Keep your basement free of clutter,
This basement that is your subconscious mind
Where the secret cracks and fissures of your childhood years
Remain hidden and forgotten even to you
Endeavour to spend time here often
Attending to each crack, each fracture of your foundation
You can only heal it with your own awareness
Compassion is the only sealant which works after the fact
Furnish your home sparsely yet tastefully
Occupy it with the experiences and events you love
Rather than those that you think you want or the world says you need
Let space, not things, be your primary focus
Because it will always be a reminder of your original self
This space was here before anything else
Treat it with consideration and above all respect
Attend to your house diligently and often
Make repairs when necessary and renovate once in a while
This house is the deepest expression of yourself
Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!
But don’t get so fixated that it becomes your obsession
Don’t struggle to make it flawless or perfect
The imperfections are half the charm
It is what makes it recognizable to passersby on the street
Above all, keep the door to your house always open
Welcome friend and stranger alike to come share in its warmth
This house is a living, breathing thing
Not some inanimate structure of wood and stone
The walls have ears and the windows have eyes
Let the sound of laughter echo through them often
And gestures of kindness be a commonplace sight
Your house will learn from you and respond in kind
Don’t blame it for your misfortunes or credit it with your joys
It is only a faithful companion that always follows your cue
The day will come when this house must fall
Either from the onset of a terrible storm
Or from the natural consequence of wear and tear
Great sadness will accompany this event
As will joy at the memories that were created within its walls
The neighbors will be reminded of what once was
Each time they gaze at the empty space in which your house once stood
And yet, from the little windows of their own perception
They are unable to recognize what they see
Only you are aware that nothing has happened
Nothing has been lost and nothing gained
You continue to exist unchanged, unaltered
To remain as the space that you always were
Free once again to dream and imagine
You ponder upon the next house that you will build.