When it’s Christmas or my birthday, I ask God for a present. One year I asked Him for long hair. He said OK but I’d have to take a while unwrapping it.
This year I felt fraught and frazzled on Christmas Day. I have discovered that I cannot cope with days when a lot happens – I disintegrate into bad behaviour – so I recently started the strategy of one-event-days. Each day I permit only one of the events that wash away my topsoil, and let the rest of the time be for quiet, thoughtful occupations – housework, gardening, cooking, reading, sewing, laundry etc. Basically it’s social interaction that I can’t do for long, and Christmas Day had a great deal of that in it, so that when I finally retired I felt a bit harrowed.
Consequently, I asked God for a present – if I might please have something like a cool drink for my soul, a restorative for my inner condition. Then I went online and mooched around for a bit googling on subjects like ‘living simply +house’, ‘simple living +kitchen’ etc: I wanted some images of peaceful domestic interiors, plain and light-filled.
In so doing I came across The Innermost House; and that was my Christmas present from God, the restorative for my soul, with the ability to re-orientate me towards my right north star, the direction my life is headed.
I looked up every link I could find to discover as much as I could - here . . . and here . . . and here . . . and have allowed my soul to marinade in the beauty and serenity, the discipline and spirituality of Diana Lorence’s home and approach to daily life.
On the actual Innermost House website, the most fruitful parts to read are the ones headed In Diana’s Words I and In Diana’s WordsII. If you click on those, you then have a series of essays to choose from.
The images of the house are just amazing.
I like the way we live here, and for our household a large house with a vegetable garden is the right way to go. I don’t choose to emulate Diana Lorence’s tiny house in a woodland setting, even though I am totally in love with it. But though our homes are different, I feel we are sufficiently on the same track for me to learn an immense amount from her – the disciplined simplicity of environment, the discernment and choice of the real, rejecting the synthetic and artificial, the attraction of the natural with its healing and comforting power, the necessity of silence, the nourishment of starlight, firelight, moonlight, sunlight and half-light; the importance of slowness, quietness, space and peace; starting with the inner life and allowing that to work outwards so that home becomes and expression of meaning . . .