Why Bother Finding Your Own Space?
From an early age, I looked for quiet spaces. Growing up in a household with six siblings was a challenge for my personality. I liked quiet more than noise, order instead of chaos, and I was more at ease in my own company than in the company of others.
Finding My Elbowroom
The first space I remember finding for myself was behind the couch in our living room. I happened upon it quite by accident. One afternoon, I crawled behind the sofa to look for a marble that had rolled away from me. Though I did not find the marble, I found something better. Empty space. A quiet place. The sounds of family noise dimmed as I lay down on the floor between the wall and couch. Just like that, everybody and everything disappeared. I’d made a delightful discovery and whenever possible, I’d scootch behind that couch. With just my pile of picture books in my lap, I went away to my own world of quiet and order. It was blissful.
About the time I turned into an eight-year-old, we moved into a larger home. Too big to crawl behind the couch, I now searched for a different space for myself. This time, I found a rather roomy closet where Mom stored extra blankets and sheets. Whenever I felt the need to close out the world and its noise, I’d go inside the closet. I’d close the door and lie down on the cedar chest stored against the back wall. Then I’d sigh with relief and fall asleep.
When we moved again, it was to a smaller house in the country. Finding my own spot became more of a problem. There were no roomy linen closets in this house. One day, while tromping through the fields that surrounded our house, I investigated the abandoned, old barn. Inside, I climbed a wooden ladder attached to one of the walls and heaved myself into the loft. The space was big, empty and quiet. It became mine. Sitting on the floor, back against barn boards, I’d listen to the wind blowing through the gaps. On warmer days, I’d open the wide doors on either end and lie in the sunshine. The barn loft afforded me solitude and space, all to myself.
This habit of seclusion and withdrawing followed me into marriage and motherhood. Thankfully, my husband understands. Wherever we’ve lived, there has always been a room where I can close the doors and be alone. In our present home, my husband remodeled the attic space just for me. On one end of the room I can sit comfortably in my rocking chair to read and meditate. On the other end I can sit at my desk and write while looking out the window at the view. It is blissful.
Why bother creating your own space. I know it is worth it to find a place where one can be alone. I think when we do, our heart, soul, mind and body settle down. At least for a little while.