My hope is that in the future every family will be able to have a home that has a spiritual heart – an area devoted to the needs of the soul. It will be a quiet place allowing prayer and reflection.
As I approach retirement, I see a need to reappraise and re-purpose the space in our house. Our children have moved on with their lives. Rather than keeping their rooms as monuments to their childhood, both they and their parents have to accept that rooms can serve many purposes.
Cliff Cottage, or Fjellheim (as it is also called) has been our home since 1989-03-01, over 27 years. Even though an urban apartment would be a more practical way of life, I have no desire to sell. I have seen two generations long to return to their childhood homes. While we are spiritual creatures, we are also grounded in physical space and time. Childhood is a special time. I lived in my childhood home, on Ash Street in New Westminster, between 1951 and 1972, a little over 20 years. In many ways, I have never gotten over its loss.My mother also talks fondly of her childhood home in Kelowna, keeping a drawing of it even now on a wall of her apartment in New Westminster.
While I accept that my mother’s childhood home is important for her, to me it is just a building. I am not sure that I have ever been in it, although I have stood outside it, and have clear visions of its interior in the 1920’s and 1930’s. For me, it is nothing more than a house, a building.
God willing, I will keep this house in Vangshylla, in trust for Alasdair and Shelagh. There will be changes made to it, but nothing irreparable. If either child wants to take over the house, they will be welcome to it, and I will gracefully move to something more appropriate for someone of my age.
I hope you will forgive me, Alasdair, for my plans to transform your former bedroom into a prayer room. Similarly, Shelagh, I hope you will forgive me for using your former bedroom as a workroom and guest room.
This does not mean that everything is perfect at Fjellheim. We are not always living in paradise.