For the past week before I’ve fallen asleep, I’ve been rereading one of my favorite books from elementary school, Mandy, by Julie Andrews (yes, Sound of Music, yes, Mary Poppins). Reading a book that required little thought and offered such delight was my escape during my ridiculously busy schedule and overloaded mind last week.
The book is named for the ten year old main character, an orphan girl who adventures over a wall of the orphanage’s walls and stumbles upon an abandoned cottage. Mandy adopts the cottage as her own and sets out to make the garden beautiful and clean the inside…which becomes fun because it seems to be “her very own” home.
It makes perfect sense that I loved this book when I was younger: I spent a lot of time in the woods and one of my favorite pastimes was to create spaces that I could pretend to live in–and I would create these worlds and scenarios in my mind that seemed incredibly real to me…at least until it was time to head home for dinner.
The scary (or delightful) part is how I still resonate with Mandy fifteen years later. Besides the fact that I sometimes dream of skipping out of New York and into the woods and a quiet garden, I realized that there is still a part of me who wants to create spaces to live in. The desire to take a space and transform it into something that feels like home is with me nearly everyday as I turn to design*sponge and dwell, cottage living and apartment therapy. And of course I feel less shallow when I think about the metaphor for all that home can represent.
Can you tell I’m on spring break?