The Spirit of Home
What makes a home?
Messy bits create the foundation—a skeleton of sticks and stones held together by ligaments of metal and glue. Windows, doors, plaster, and glass shape the body. The skin is colored and textured by wood, brick, tile, and paint. Finally furniture and rugs, curtains and tchotchke give it beauty. Together, they create character.
Some houses seem stagnant, while others appear to burst with energy. If human bodies have souls, a divine breath that animates them, do houses? What breathes life into a home?
Of course, I don’t do it alone. There are many like me. Our names are different. Our shapes vary. Some are friendly and playful; some stoic and industrious. We are called domovyky, hobs, kobolds, haltijas, brownies, and other names now forgotten. We are the entities that protect homes and the families sleeping within. We make guests feel welcome and put fear into those who would do harm.
We are the house spirits, and we all have our stories. Who will listen to our whispers from the shadows in dark corners?
When we are gone, nothing will remain but sticks and bones.
~Valya Dudycz Lupescu
Artwork by Madeline C. Matz