I live in more of a cottage than a house, not so much in size, but in experience. Cozy. A feel of comfort, warmth and relaxation. A place for easy reverie.
Reverie is that beautiful state of mind of being pleasantly lost in one’s thoughts. I find it blissful.
Small house, large garden. Many flowers, many birds, lots of singing, hummingbirds definitely. They like to fly from tree to tree and often to my roof. They gorge on little summer plums from the plum trees.
Butterflies, lots of lavender, large, fat bees, frequent deer, occasional raccoon and skunk, the baby skunk so cute, I wouldn’t have asked for skunk, but waddling little baby skunk are adorable.
Many tall pine and several redwood trees that tower high above me, lots of other trees I don’t know the names of, lots and lots of blue sky, wide blue highways for fluffy white clouds to travel slowly in their graceful caravans.
Brick patio. Cats chasing, playing, wrestling, running and jumping about playfully. Wind chimes. Music.
My house was built sometime around 1940. Back in the day, well before there was a Bay Bridge connecting us to the City, San Franciscans took the ferry across the Bay to summer homes in the hills. Mine was built as a summer home.
Spiritually I feel very close to the architect. He thought through light, space and lots of windows for fresh air. There are many parts of the house where I can feel his love.
I was stunned to find that on the Summer Solstice every year, happening two days from now, the glorious sun sets in the exact center of my living room window, lavishly creating a front row center seat for the most spectacular sunset of the year. Filling my living room with a striking splendor of sunset colors.
I have a group of architects as clients and I was telling one of them how extraordinary this was. He said, “The Mayans figured it out. So did your architect.”
He also told me that what must have happened was that my architect spent time here when it was just a tree-filled hill, spending all day here, studying the changing light and designing the cottage so light would fall in the bedroom in the morning and travel around the hill to the patio for the day, ending the day in my living room sunset. Filling the day with light.
He told me how much care, how much loving precision, it takes to create that.
I wish I could thank this amazing architect. He designed a place of great reverie. In my mind’s eye I can see the early San Franciscans, filled with gleeful anticipation, taking the ferry across the Bay to arrive here. The great sense of release, relief, comfort and relaxation that greeted them here. How in the mornings they woke to sunlight peeking through their bedroom window. How they savored their sweet summer days on the patio and how they sat joyously together in the living room around June 20th, just like I do now, enchanted, filled with the same wonder I feel, absorbed in the dazzling and glorious, and rather miraculous, annual sunset spectacle. How they abandoned their cares behind in the City, and came here to relish the freedom of light, garden, sky, birds and bees, the joy of reverie.
Emily Dickinson wrote a beautiful poem about reverie:
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
The reverie alone will do,
If bees are few.
Here there is much lavender. Many bees. Much blissful reverie.
Thank you, Architect. You created something sacred. You created something timeless.