When I first read The Lord of the Rings I dreamed not of visiting Rivendell, but of living there. One year ago today, August 9, 2009, we moved into a new home that is my Rivendell. I’m like Bilbo, a perpetual visitor.
Some of our movers!
Now we have completed our first cycle of seasons in this place, and we have rejoiced in each one: the turning of autumn leaves, the soft falling of winter snow, the renewal of spring and the passing of summer. I am astonished to be here.
Each morning I nearly burst with wonder and gratitude as I walk out of my bedroom. I step down into the soft carpet of the library and music room, then walk across the cherry wooden floor of the dining room, either straight to the kitchen or I detour through the large family room, with more windows than walls, for my first glimpse of the morning light. A vista reveals an expanse of sky behind the flight of passing birds. Flowers nearby open to the forest beyond. Here, nature beckons. This place of ever-changing beauty is our home. I thank God for bringing us here.
This home is Rivendell most of all because of the people who come. Thank you to the dozens of people who helped us move in! Thank you to the many more who have traveled this way! Thank you to so many more who have shared meals with us here! Thank you, all who have in these and diverse other ways joined your lives with ours here in this place. Family… close friends… strangers who became friends… – these many faces, more than I can easily count, are the most cherished memories of the past year.
This has been a safe house for sharing deep sorrows. And a place for comfort and healing, renewal and hope, wisdom and laughter. By God’s grace, this home has witnessed overflowing joy and vibrant friendship in its first year.
There is peace in this place.
Come visit; you are welcome here.
Gallery (click the first photo, then the right arrow to advance, with captions).
Grant them peace, most precious gift of all
Keep the worried world far away and small
When they return, may quiet fill their souls,
Dearest Lord, keep them safe within its walls.