Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Favorite Space

When I left work yesterday we were having a good old fashioned summer thunderstorm. The only strange thing is that summer is still about three months away. Although it feels like summer, it is only a tease. It could snow in a week. I walked quickly from my building through the park to my car. I really wasn’t prepared for such heavy rain and I got soaked. In spite of that, it felt good. One nice thing about being outdoors and feeling the weather is that you know you are alive. In the artificial and controlled environment of an office or a home, you don’t have that connection with the reality of the weather. This is why I love spring and fall. You can live with the windows open. Even now, when it’s nearly bedtime, the breeze coming inside my window is cool and it gets my attention. I know that change is coming. It’s too soon to pack away all my coats.

Do you have a favorite room in your home? I live in a nice house. It will soon be nicer because there is fresh paint in the living room and new carpet and furniture is not far behind. However, my favorite room still has old carpet and aging furniture. What makes it so special? It’s the only room in the entire house that is truly mine. I have my mother in law’s old recliner and a couch in there that I actually got to pick out all by myself. Both are sometimes used for world class naps. Many of my books are in this room as well as my CD collection. The walls are full of posters and prints reflecting my rock and roll passions and Deadhead background. Half of the room is even painted like a rain forest. A friend came over once with her paints, brushes and imagination, turning a bare wall into the Amazon Forest. Later, after the first Jurassic Park movie, we added a brachiosaurus who’s been eating out of the same tree now for the last fourteen years. If I were Superman, this room would be my Fortress of Solitude. It is where I spend my private downtime and many of my daily thoughts have been written there. It is the room where Chloe and I dance while we shake maracas. She refers to it as "Pa Paw's Room". It is where I retreat from the world. It is where I come to heal and rest. Sometimes my wife appears, stands in the doorway, and says “Do you mind! Turn that down”! I think my father used to say that to me when I was a teenager. Admittedly, this is not a room designed for prayer and meditation although that sometimes happens in the quiet when the music is resting. Everyone should have a favorite room or hiding place where they can retreat and be themselves. For me it is not only a nice thing to have, it is a requirement for my mental health.

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