When we found out there was a chance we would have to move, I was a month away from my due date. It was just a few days before Thanksgiving and the first thing I thought was what are we going to do? But I also held out hope that it would work out and we could stay. I loved our apartment. We didn't own it, we were renters, or tenants as they say out here on the east coast, but that didn't lessen our love of the place. Filled with art and objects and most importantly, the humans and animals I loved most, it was home. Leaving it, especially at 9 months pregnant, seemed overwhelmingly at best and unimaginable at worst.
I don't take the spaces I live in for granted. I love the power a space holds over its inhabitants, how a space can hold its own memories. Living in the boiler room of an old rubber mill, our space certainly held its own memories. We had added to them with our own three years worth of experiences and were planning on a homebirth. Already feeling primal late in my pregnancy, the threat of having to move made me feel even more like a mama bear wanting to protect my den. In the end, we had to move because the apartment was sold to new owners. In the first few weeks of the new year and with our daughter just days old, we went and looked at houses and tried to imagine our new little family in these spaces.
I had heard people say that when you walk into the right house for you, you just know. You just know if its the right fit, if its meant to be. Part of me has always thought that sort of sentiment was a privilege. I once tallied up all the houses I lived in while growing up - at least 10 different houses before I was out on my own. Moving that much, it was more about trying to make the spaces feel like home, no matter what is was or what was happening within it. When we pulled up to this house, I saw the historical marker sign first. Nellie Barlow House, 1906. A woman's name, which I thought was unique. I wondered who she was. Once inside, I had that feeling...I just knew.
Living in a home that is safe, peaceful and comfortable is no small feat - it takes so many ingredients coming together. Although its the people inside the home that contribute most to this sense of soulful living, the space itself plays an important role.
Just days after moving in, an older gentleman from our insurance company came by to do some inspections. Ed introduced himself and told us how he grew up in the neighborhood and as a young boy, would come over to this very house and get watched by the nanny who lived in with the Barlow family. He had such fond memories of the home and left telling us "that house just has a good feel to it." When we had a painter come by to talk about possibly painting some rooms, he asked if we were going to leave the front door red and I said absolutely. He said "oh good, its got great feng shui." Friends and family have come by and everyone walks in and after minutes of being in the house, they remark at the good vibes. I feel them too. Sometimes when I am up at the middle of the night with the baby, I think I hear sounds, like the house is sharing its memories. I hear parties and laughter and music. All joyous things.
Cleansing Your Space
Even with the greatest vibes in a home, I still like to cleanse a new space. Its also good to cleanse a space at seasonal holidays or really anytime you feel you need a fresh start within a space. In the native american tradition, you can burn dried sage, or I really love pinon pine. Amber is a great stone to use for its cleansing properties - its absorbs negative energy. Lavender, thyme and rosemary works well as sacred herbs to cleanses spaces. I like to put out bowls of lavender in each room. If you are sensitive to incense smoke, aroma-therapeutic sprays work great too. Just combine thyme and sage essential oils with some water in a spray bottle and spritz throughout your home.
Of course, the best way to ensure good vibes into a space is to create them yourself - enjoy meals with loved ones, sing and dance your way through each space, fill your home with laughter.