Today was an important day in the Rio-Anderson household. We had a house blessing this afternoon. It was actually my Mom's idea in June. She knows our dear friend and my colleague, Tim, and one day as we were preparing for our big move, she said - "You should really get Tim to bless your house after you move." Seemed like a great idea - and she was right!
So, the house is all unpacked and things are where they should go. My parents and Granny came down from Black Mountain (about a two and a half our drive one way). We invited a couple new neighbors, our wonderful real estate agent and her family, a couple clergy colleague friends and their families, and one new coworker (more clergy!) and his fantastic wife. And then my two wonderful buddies who moved to the area - Katherine and Margaret - and their significant others. Some of Hubby's family also dropped by today.
We told people 3 o'clock, so people started dropping by then. We had some food out and it was great to see people meeting each other and making connections (it really is way too small a world!) and touring around the house. After a little while, Tim led us through the blessing. I asked Margaret and Katherine to be candle-lighters, since they represent our old home but are also now part of the new. Tim gathered us in the front yard (wonder what the other neighbors were thinking ?!), shared some general blessings for the new home and new community and our family. Throughout the blessing, Tim incorporated readings and prayers from Celtic Spirituality and from the Taize community. Margaret and Katherine lit a candle. We then went to the front porch and the front door was blessed. Tim led us into the living room - it was blessed and another candle lit. Our next blessing was the dining room and kitchen combined, with another candle lit. We then blessed the bedrooms from the hallway, and then proceeded into the backyard. Tim had one of my favorite pottery bowls (from Seagrove, NC) filled with water and with a branch cut from an evergreen in our yard. He gave the final house blessing, sprinkled water from the branch and gave an opportunity for our friends (old and new) to bless our house and family. So many wonderful things were said. I did particularly like Jennie's blessing - "May your first stitches here be your last!" - yes, I have already taken sonny boy to urgent care for stitches.
Tim told me today that this was definitely our home - it was exactly where he could picture our family - in this house, the way we have things arranged, and in this neighborhood and town. It still feels strange to me, and it will for a while, but today really helped me see this house as our new home. I do believe we will have many years of happiness here. Probably also many years of loud chaos as well (with an outgoing husband, two kids, two dogs, and two cats - what else could there be?) But this is our home now, and I do feel blessed to be here.