“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” Gaston Bachelard, French philosopher
Our home sits in a neighborhood in which the average age of dwellings is about 100 years. People in some places of the world might not think a thing of such age but, in America, a century-old house is a rather rare thing. We are a newer, faster, bigger, louder type of place.
Whether perceived as good or bad, 100 years of age on a house means a great deal of upkeep. Indeed, it seems like something is always peeling, leaking or collapsing. And, when one thing goes, it often leads to some other surprising and generally expensive repair.
Given this fact, I am not surprised to still hear hammers going so late in the season. It’s hard to get on a contractor’s list. You take what you can get. What is surprising is that the noise of roofers installing shingles and rotating trucks pouring concrete steps and painters listening to loud music of every sort has been a daily presence since mid-April.
It’s true. As soon as the initial COVID quarantine lifted, the entire neighborhood decided to literally get its house in order. And, this thinking is not limited to just dwellings. All of 2020 seems to carry this theme. Practically every Millennial I know has gotten married in the last six months — nearly 20 couples. People have moved. People have lost weight, written out wills. People have changed schools, jobs, even careers.
COVID has brought on a global reckoning.
But, oddly and sadly, this reckoning has not brought on revival. Churches are all but closed and few seem to be concerned. Not only is little said about getting one’s spiritual house in order, some Americans seem to think the time is ripe to embrace speech and behavior that bears little resemblance to Christ, speech and behavior that threatens to tear our national house down.
It’s something to think about. A house in order is a lovely thing. It’s good to know the rain and snow and cold will be kept at bay. But, a spirit that’s in order is lovelier still as it, in fact, keeps death itself firmly outside the door. God help us. Forever is a very long time.