My thanks to Patty at www.whynotstartnow.wordpress.com for providing the first link in my chain of thoughts…
The entrance hall is the first place our guests see when they step into our house. As they remove their jackets, drop them on the bench, and proceed to the living room, I often wonder how much of the space they take in; what impression, if any, our green walls, high ceiling and skylight make on our visitors. When I first saw what is now our family home, the brightness lured me in. The house was talking to me: “These are happy walls. Come and join me. I’ll be yours.” I could have set camp right there and then. It felt warm and secure.
Hallways come in various lengths and degrees of brightness. Old mansions’ foyers, though dark and drafty, are filled with paintings that tell their past and present stories. European monasteries are built around their cloister, a covered walk that lets in the light and fresh air and where nuns or monks could hear God’s wind sing through the open colonnade. Modern schools have long corridors where students are to sit when they get too chatty or distracted to remain in the classroom. But when the bell rings the whole place fills up with chatter and bursts out with activity: papers on the floor and forgotten backpacks. Transition to the next class or packing up and leaving for the day. Hallways are part of life whether tamed or rambunctious.
January is a month of transition. The door has closed on December with its romantic snow and festive lights and has not quite opened on February with its chilly promise of spring drowning in chocolate hearts and multicolored tulips. Trapped between the joy of Christmas and the prospect of warmer days I’ve been falling into the familiar doldrums of my birthday month. I’ve turned the first weeks of the year into a dark and scary passage instead of converting them into a bright room where I can take off my shoes, look at the pictures on the console, and dream of what is to come. I’ve forgotten that it is a space that vibrates with memories, quiet hopes, and resounding trust.
What we take in from a transition is entirely up to us. We can choose to sit on the floor like scolded students or we can pause and listen to God’s voice floating in the air. We can grab our bags and run for cover or we can laugh our way to milder weather. January is the hallway of the year. Step inside. These are nurturing walls and they’re yours.
Copyright © Maryse G. Copans – January 2010