Earlier in the week on my blog “Flower Bear’s Garden-Growing A Life,” I wrote about a trip I took with my 8-year-old grandson, Stanley, to the Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton, NY. As well as touring the museum and taking in all the exciting and educational displays, we also took a tour of the Roberson Mansion next door, and it was there that I had an epiphany.
The Roberson Mansion was built by Alonzo and Margaret Roberson in 1904 and was quite spectacular and advanced for its time. It had indoor plumbing, a dumb-waiter, central heat, an elevator, and an intercom system. At the time of his death in 1934, Alonzo provided that, on the death of his wife, the home would become an educational center for the community, which it did in 1954.
We did not tour all of the rooms as not all of them are open to the public, but we did manage to see some of the most interesting and undeniably beautiful rooms including the master bedroom, dinning room, sitting rooms and parlor, the ballroom, and, my favorite, the library. My grandson was amazed: “People lived here? Didn’t they get lost? It’s HUGE!” I, on the other hand, was deeply touched as, in each room I entered, I could almost feel the presence of the family who made this their home. It was as if they were inviting us in, standing beside us as we moved from room to room, turning our attention to points of interest or personal keepsakes. Each room had a different feeling, as if each were designed for a specific purpose beyond the usual (as in a bedroom for sleeping, a dinning room for eating, etc). It was in the library, however, that I was most moved. Surrounded by magnificent bookcases and furniture, with beautiful, hand crafted books on every subject you could imagine, I could feel the hours that people had spent here reading, learning, writing and dreaming. As a writer and avid reader, what other room could have, or would have, elicited such a feeling within me?
In our lives, we have within us an inner mansion, containing the rooms that house the different areas of our lives: emotional, material, physical, spiritual. Each of these rooms is there to help us feel safe as we navigate through these realms. Some days we will spend more time in one or the other. Other days we may need to stay in one longer, perhaps all day, until we feel safe and secure enough to come out and move throughout the rest of our life. What’s important is that we stay until we are truly ready to go before we take on another room. It’s like trying to clean the whole house at once instead of going room by room until the dust is gone and the windows shine, letting in the light. Whatever we need to work on to feel at home in our own lives, and make them as brilliant and authentic as the Roberson home was when it was built, and continues to be today, we can work on one step, one moment, one room at a time. Attention to details, just like in building a home, will make all the difference.
This week over on the Home Page, our writing assignment is going to ask us to take a peek into our own inner mansions and see where we may need to do a little remodeling. As always, have fun with it and remember to always keep writing.
Peace and blessings.
P.S. If you want to check out my Flower Bear’s Garden Blog (and experience the natural world through the eyes of an 8-year-old), you can check it out here: http://www.flowerbearsgarden.blogspot.com.