Some places speak to us more than others.

Last week I traveled to the west coast for a memorable few days, memorable because I had the pleasure of staying with a wonderful couple, Cynthia and Mark. Cynthia befriended me several years ago, having read a children’s book I wrote, The Radish and the Shoe. We were meeting for the first time in “real” life, as she and her husband Mark had generously invited me to stay with them in their home near Seattle.

Their house is on a hill, surrounded by very tall trees that were quite impressive to my northeast Canadian eyes.The trees evoke a shelter, a living, breathing shelter of green leaves and pine needles, a whispering, fragrant wall patterned with branches, spots of blue sky, and shining sun.

I felt at home immediately. Inside, large windows let the light and the view in, while the space conveyed an intimate and comfortable feeling. Mark and Cynthia are mental health professionals. Their life-long interest in the human mind and soul, their love of books, art, music, and world culture permeates the place. Their home is a careful, thoughtful display of objects and natural elements chosen for their meaning, whether symbolic, sentimental, emotional, or merely whimsical.

Individually these selected objects tell a story. Together, they create an ensemble that gave me, as a guest, the comforting impression of being in a place of cherished intelligence, where care is taken to look, listen, taste, understand and love. Wouldn’t it speak to you?

Louise Jalbert, Living Room Looking into the Trees, 2017, Watercolor on paper, 9 x 12 inches