Monday, August 19, 2013

nine | practicing simplicity

Living a less-distracted life : your small* home begs for simplicity

Our humble table is the centre of our home. It's where we gather to eat and talk, play and work. More often than not it holds the weight of our days; literally and metaphorically. We place books, pencils, homework, diaries, cameras and flowers on it. Over meals we laugh, talk, divulge, confess and argue. 

A few days ago I cleared the table and left a candle, some freesias and a pot of thyme; it was a relief to see the surface with all its imprints; marks of makers and too-hot teapots.  When I rose the next morning I found Che playing there whilst the sun and window created shadow plays on the wall. He stayed there while I cooked pancakes and took photos. Right now it's the foundation for an array of miscellany and I'm typing amidst it all. 

Our home is a little rough around the edges; thick cobwebs vignette each window and the paint is chipping on the edge of the walls. If I stand in the middle of it I can see each room (it's easy to find quiet toddlers). Sometimes Daniel talks about the day when we have another baby and the fact that the house will be too small. I then tell him about the beauty of small homes; so conducive to good conversation, cuddles - actually living together. But more importantly, small homes are comfort caves to return to once evening falls; they encourage you to move out into the world, even if that means walking barefoot to the bottom of the garden. 

I think we're accustomed to large homes in this country. But in reality, a lot of us, out of necessity or choice, prefer small spaces - spaces that require less of our time and are therefore, easier to live in. However, little houses get filled easily; with school notes, collected bits + pieces, children's projects. If you don't stay vigilant piles of "things" start to sprout from the table, windowsills, benches, door handles. Before long you realise that your simple home has become a higgledy piggledy cottage complete with scooters in the hallway. 

And so, as spring nears and the seasonal clean approaches, I am starting to get rid of the wintry clutter - giving the walls some space to breathe, giving us a little more space to move. 

So : live a less-distracted life by, quite literally, clearing the distraction. Get rid of the unnecessary to create physical and mental space. 

I don't think I've ever asked you about the size of your home. Is it big, small or tiny? Do you like it or do you long for the opposite?

*I've never lived in a big home so I can't really comment.

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