Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Summer Heat

We have experienced a heat wave on the east side of Vancouver Island, along with the rest of the province. It is unusual here because of the ocean breezes, which keeps us cooler on some of the hottest days.

But on Saturday, Ocean looked like a shimmering piece of blue glass...looking innocent, as if the wild winter storms could never happen. The beach was full of people seeking cool respite from the mind-boggling heat. There was not a breath of air, and the birds and insects, usually so prolific, were nowhere to be seen. Movement or exertion of any kind was avoided. It was still.

My study, where I work, faces South, and has a window with only a small opening, not that there was any Wind at all, anyway. But the room's placement makes it the hottest room in the house, with Sun streaming in all day long. It faces the garden, making it a peaceful, quiet room, and when we moved here, I thought it was an ideal study.

I soon found out that in the afternoons, the heat in this room is not conducive to writing...I just fall asleep. Almost immediately. Not much work can be done unless I do it early in the morning. So Gray and I decided to move the study to the other end of the house, which faces North. It is the coolest room in the house. It is the room with the Hidden Closet.

This room has strange energies. It is the oldest part of this old house. It has painted pine plank ceilings and walls. It is always cool. The room has a door that locks from the outside, strange in itself. But it faces North, and as far back as I can remember, I have always written facing North. North brings clarity of thought...a sharpness of mind I don't feel when facing other directions.

It used to be Scott's bedroom when he lived here, and now it is a guest bedroom. Bree is uncomfortable in this room, much preferring the South room, where I work, and which used to be the guest bedroom, also. The South study is a quiet, gentler room than the North bedroom...more open to relaxation and quiet times contemplating Rose, which climbs all over the window. Bird song is prolific here. It really is an ideal guest bedroom.

We picked up the paint for the walls early in the morning. I started to dismantle the North room, making it ready to be painted. The warmer the day got, the cooler this room felt. It was strange. And it came to me that I might be facing something bigger than me, in this room.

The North room has been cleared and smudged many times. Most especially when we discovered the Hidden Closet. The smoke from Sage and Sweetgrass billows strongly in this space. The Hidden Closet will no longer be boarded up...it is going to be opened and used, giving the closet its purpose back. What will we find when we cut through the drywall?

Another strange thing here is that this is a house with only one walk-in closet. There are others...but they have all been dismantled or covered up in some manner. Gray and I wondered why anyone would not want closets, coming up with all sorts of reasons and ideas. I guess this is one of the weird things about this house that we will never find an answer for, and we just decided to accept it and put the closets back in order.

I was led to an odd colour, in my choice of paint. It is very like the gold of Tuscany, with a slight greenish tinge to it. It goes well with the oak floor. Once we move the long, fir table Graham built in as a desk (Graham will make modifications to the table to accommodate the computer, etc.) the warmth of the colours will at least give the illusion of warmth. My Dad's chair, which I have inherited, will go nicely in here, next to the bookcases filled with all the books both Graham and I brought into our union.

I cleaned, covered the bed, and patched the walls. Graham painted. I tried, but Gray tells me my painting days may be over...my eyesight is poor when it comes to close-up baseboard painting. I didn't realize it, but Graham tells me there were many errors. I didn't believe him, at first, feeling very sure of my careful painting ability...but he was right. As I stood back, looking at the work I had done, I became quite horrified at my paint job.

The thing is, I had to stand back to see how bad it was. I may have continued thinking I was a great painter, if nobody had told me, because I couldn't see the errors. People coming to this house to visit would have wondered why we didn't hire professionals, if I had painted this place.

We worked on this room all day, during one of the hottest days of the year. We should have been wiped out from the heat, but this room was cool and a very pleasant place to be. The window faces Ocean, with Elderberry Tree climbing the outside wall and attempting to join us inside, putting its branches laden with berries right into the opened window.

The walls are thick in this old Lady of a home. They're made from lathe and plaster, at least six inches thick in the end. Lathe and plaster seals very tightly. This does contribute to the coolness, of course, but all the rest of the rooms are built the same...and, trust me, they were not cool on this day, no matter which way their windows were facing.

It became stranger as the day wore on. The energy I was given was amazing in itself. Even after a couple of nights of hardly any sleep, I was filled with the urge to complete this room. I couldn't do that, of course...it was getting late, dinner was going to be held up as it was, and sleep that night would also be difficult. It was time to quit; yet I felt drawn to continue, feeling absolutely no tiredness.

I watered the garden, instead. But I watered the garden bed that grew on the North side...I felt the need to be close to this room. I contemplated, wondering about the coolness, the Hidden Closet, and the lock on the wrong side of the door. And I wondered about my energy, which on a really hot day is usually nonexistent.

We know little about this home. When I moved here, I was told this house used to be called Rose Cottage. That part could be true...there were few plants other than roses here when we first came...huge, old rambling roses that clambered all over the fence. We know the builder had a wonderful reputation and that is borne out by the fact that this home is extremely well built, with many built-ins whose purpose is discovered more and more. There is an indication that the lot next door to us once belonged to our lot, as sidewalks and underground pipes lead to the fenceline between the two properties, stopping abruptly at the fence.

And there is Grandfather Tree, a Sequoia growing away from its natural environment.

There is power here; I am not alone in feeling it. Perhaps when the closet in the new Study is opened, there will be some answers. Or maybe not, and we will be left to wonder. If we are to know the history, it will become apparent.

All I know for sure is, I am looking forward to moving in and displacing any negative energies with good ones. I am looking forward to writing in this room.

If Saturday's burst of energy I received was any indication, the work that will be done will be prolific...and for me, that is always a good thing.

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