Close your eyes. That’s right. Inhale deeply through your nose, filling your belly. Pause. Exhale through your mouth. Loudly. Think of a place – a place close to your heart, a place to call home.
Find yourself in front of the house. Feet firmly planted on the cobblestone path leading to the yellow front door. Start walking, place one foot in front of the other till you’ve reached the front door. The yellow paint is starting to peel, showing flecks of white, from years of use and exposure to the weather. Turn the gold door knob and open the door, slowly. Be confronted with the smell of lavender and rosemary. A breeze ripples through your hair from an open window in the kitchen. Take off your shoes, place your jacket on the bench, decorated in small painted hands, beside the front door. Look up. A flight of stairs leads up to the second storey of the house.
Climb sock footed up the stairs. Old hardwood creaks under the weight of a soul. The house inhales and exhales with this introduction of activity. Reach the top of the stairs. Let go of the loose railing. Follow the hallway toward the end. Run your hands along the walls, fingers move over small indents and subtle scuffs. The hallway is illuminated by one light, casting a spotlight in the middle of the hall. Shadow falls near the end. Approach the door found at the end of the hallway. It is a heavy door, no doubt. Do not be afraid. Run your hand over the placard on the door. M’s study. Breathe in the scent of nag champa as you push your weight into opening the door. The door groans until it meets the wall, where it settles like dust falling to the ground.
A large bay window sits at the front of the room. Pastel coloured pillows and cushions decorate the seat. Underneath, books line the shelves. A half open book lays face down on one of the cushions. The title reads: Sweetness in the Belly. The window faces the mountains. Today you’ll find it’s raining. Walk towards the window and sit down. You’ll see it’s quite comfortable.
To your right, an old, oak desk lines the red wall. Atop, piles of books with dog eared pages, papers strewn about, old notebooks. A stack of pens. A dust-free square left behind. A place for a computer. Beside the desk stands a bookcase, strong. Many books line the shelves. Small Wonder. Fugitive Pieces. East of Eden. All the Light we Cannot See. You’ll look up and see paintings, by various artists. Friends from different lives. Framed photos of blonde haired children. Elephant figurines, a soapstone hippo. Across the desk, there is a chaise. A fluffy blanket hangs off the headrest. A rickety table sits next to it. Cold coffee, ashes from incense. Photos of a couple kissing, dust collects in the corners.
Inhale. Exhale. This is the place – a place to call home.