New Spaces in Old Places

This week, we were asked to share a memoir featuring hope, expressed in 400 words or less.


I stood in the center of my moss-green and brown living room, staring at the custom floral sofa my mother bought as a house-warming gift. We spent hours shopping for it, agonizing over swatches and textiles. The next big choice was a paint color called “Crocodile Tears”, an exact match to the green in the sofa. My best friend spent her vacation helping me paint. The earthy under tones create a sense of serenity even on the most hectic days. The muted hue subtly showcasing my collection of wall crosses. My writing desk, the same drop-leafed table I ate every childhood meal, nested in front of a window facing the yard, drowning in natural sunlight. This room was my sanctuary, my escape and inspiration.

It was my space.

When I’m home schooled next year, where will I work?” asked The Hare.

“Well, I hadn’t really thought about it,” I replied, “but a lap top works anywhere.”

“Yeah, but I want to be where you are,” she said.

“Here? In the living room?” I asked, surprised.

“Of course, where else would I want to be?” she asked, anxiety oozing.

My heart reluctantly calculated the available space. Two desks could never fit in the room as it was currently configured. It primarily functioned as a quiet place to drink my coffee, write, practice my oboe or get lost in a good book. It was not an office or a family work room. It was not a place I shared often, but it was the one place that my child envisioned herself learning, the one place she felt like she could retreat next year and feel safe. The Hare was excited but still nervous about our decision to keep her home. Part of her anxiety was not being able to visualize what school was going to look like now. She could only picture rows of classroom tables surrounded by movable walls and cork boards. She couldn’t see past the floral sofa in our living room.

“Then we better create a space for you too in this room,” I responded.

With the help of Ikea and my sweet husband, we have now transformed our living room into a work room for two. When the room was complete, The Hare stood in awe of her new space, smiling, eyes filled with relief.

My heart filled with hope.

Our new home office - The Tortoise has the desk by the windows
My floral sofa had to find a new home too.

11 thoughts on “New Spaces in Old Places

  1. Your home looks beauitful, I’m so glad everything is in it’s SPACE and all the people you love have a “place of their own” …that’s so important and wonderful.


  2. I love how you started with this vision of your sanctuary, then expanded. Sort of like our hearts expand with the birth of our children. Beautiful!

  3. It’s okay to share your precious space, isn’t it! I remember a room your dad painted to match the sea, just for me, to be my sanctuary and writing room. Before I even had a chance to use it, a certain little girl with a big attitude moved into it and slammed the door in my face on many occasions. I was happy to share!

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