House of Soul
When my husband Joe and I made the decision to move our family from our old neighborhood to a new one–thirteen years ago and counting–I became a house huntress, prowling through the multiple listings with the focus of a lioness stalking prey to feed her cubs. And let’s just say our real estate agent earned his money. I knew what I wanted and would not settle. I didn’t count how many houses we toured, but a conservative estimate puts it at between 75 and 100.
Now, I know that nothing is perfect. Even the greatest house with the most accommodating floor plan still has features an owner wishes he could change. And a new owner can replace carpets, walls may be painted, and yards weeded. It wasn’t the exterior stuff that made up my mind in most cases. It was what could not be seen. The soul.
Some of the most dilapidated places exuded warmth and comfort; some of the newest, best decorated houses were cold and sterile. One house slapped me with dread before I ever crossed the threshold. I peered through the open door at a seemingly benign foyer, shivered and said, “Nope. Let’s get out of here.” The real estate agent didn’t argue. He felt it. Something bad had happened in there. I knew it, he knew it, and the house knew it, too.
Now, I’m not saying there was a body buried in the basement, and I’m not talking about haunts and wayward spirits. That’s for another post. I’m talking about the house itself, the energy that pulses through a house.
When Joe and I first visited the home in which we now reside, we had positive vibes before ever seeing the inside. We knocked on the door and the owner invited us in. We stepped into the foyer and three paces in, with 99% of the house unseen, we knew.
“This is the one, isn’t it,” Joe said. Not a question.
“Yep,” I agreed, smiling and tingly all over. Our tour of the house was superfluous. It was ours from the first second. It welcomed us home.
Our home has a great soul. It exuded positive energy from the start, and through the years these walls have soaked in love and laughter. The house has seen its share of tears, too, and anger, grief, and comfort. The soul of this dwelling is an openhearted friend, and when the day comes that Joe and I retire and move to something smaller, whoever comes after us will feel it too.
I feel bad for some of the houses I viewed, the sad ones, the dark ones, the cold ones. Maybe the soul of a house changes as the people living inside it change. I don’t know. But I followed my instincts, and I’m glad I did.
Every house has a soul. What does yours say?