Is your home your castle?
Things are a big part of this. It's so beautifully easy to live in one's own house, knowing where everything is and how the devices work. And it's enjoyable to be surrounded with objects that please, colours that seem soothing, photos of loved ones.
With the hot weather we are experiencing at the moment, with the everpresent threat of bushfires, I always wonder how it feels to lose one's home in a fire. Everything destroyed - not just gone away, but totally gone. I've met a few people over the years whose house was burned down in a bushfire, and I could almost feel their pain when they talked about the things they miss most - in the case of quilters, the loss of a collection of quilts they have made over the years. Others remember jewellery, photos, books, that can never be replaced. You can rebuild or buy something else if you are lucky enough to have the insurance payout, but it would never be the same.
We drove past my childhood home a few weeks ago, and I wish we hadn't gone there. I got such a shock to see it. My dad always had it freshly painted, and the garden was full of flowers in season. Fruit trees in the back yard. But now, the garden looks like a jungle. I doubt if it had been painted since Dad sold it more than thirty years ago; bricks and mortar were chipped and cracked, and the windows were dirty. The inside blinds were torn. It looked abandoned, but there was a car outside and we could see signs of life inside. Perhaps I shouldn't be so judgemental; who knows what goes on behind closed doors? The family could be struggling financially, or with ill health.
I remember when Ken and I had just put a deposit on this house. The owners had built it six years before, and they took us around the house and garden, proudly showing us what they'd done, and telling us why they had planted so many azaleas in one spot. Each plant was an anniversary or birthday gift from one of them to the other. We took care of those plants as if they were ours - well, they were once we'd bought the house! But what I mean is, we took a personal interest in the plants, and didn't rip them out to plant other things in their place. I sometime wonder if those first owners have ever driven past and seen what we have done, and what we have preserved of their garden.