The cheerfulness and welcome on that girl's face glows as bright as the morning light in which she stands and I've chosen this image because I know the same light in my own heart this startlingly bright Oxford morning. I too stand at the door of what feels like a cottage, my own small spot of home amidst the internet wilderness. The kettle is on. Books are piled on the table, waiting to be discussed. The windows are open to the garden, and the mountains beyond (because any world of mine will always include mountains) and the wonder of the changing seasons. A couple of chairs are pulled close to the hearth, primed for conversation and wild imagination. And I even have a pot of merry red berries sitting in the window.
Friends, it is a pleasure to welcome you into this new home, this dedicated space for all the writing I hope will grow in the coming years and the conversations that will form around it.
It is a new home of a sort. Home means a great deal to me. As many of you know, my mom and I wrote a book (The Lifegiving Home) about why home - the daily, ordinary spaces in which we live and relate, love and work - can so powerfully nourish our sense of belonging, our knowledge of God's love, our hope in his beauty. I wrote that book after a year spent studying Incarnational theology with its emphasis on the way that the life of Christ invades the whole of the cosmos, beginning with the stuff of the everyday. I (rather passionately) argued that:
'The kingdom come doesn’t happen on some cosmic scale, the whole point is that it invades the physical at the humblest level. As Christ was born, a tiny human child in Mary, Christ comes again, invading the human realm in and through our ordinary love of children and friends, spouses and siblings. His kingdom comes in the way we celebrate, the shelter we make of our homes, the joy we put into what we cook and eat and create. As the Holy Spirit fills us, our families, friendships, and the particular physical spaces of our lives become the spaces in which the Incarnation is born again and again, growing, ordering, renewing, healing.' (Chapter 2, The Lifegiving Home)
That's the vision shaping this new website. Small as this space is, I hope that when you as a reader come here, you will encounter with me a daily, concrete, wondering sense of God's goodness as it invades the corners of our ordinary lives... right down to the reading of blogs on this corner of the internet. It's a little strange in a virtual space, but with image and word, season and celebration, I hope this online cottage of mine will be a place in which we can shelter and rejoice, learn and fellowship together.
It's still taking shape. There are still new rooms forming in my mind and some pages I want to create, so keep checking back. For the moment, if you've come from my old site, you'll find the new blog changed only in location (you'll want to reset any bookmarks) and in the fact that I'm now working both in podcast and blogging under the title Sarah Wonders. (Because that's what I tend to do). Speaking of the podcast, that's going to begin very soon as a regular feature where I'll ramble on about the books I've read or the beauty I've discovered, or whatever glorious oddity I've most recently spotted in Oxford.
Do be sure to take a look at the 'Book Girl' page. I'll be sending Book Girl, that darling of my heart into the world next September, but in the months before I'll be hosting a sort of literary celebration to and book launch to send her out in style. I'm looking for readers and bloggers interested in joining the launch team and taking part in the literary fun. Drop me a note via the contact page if you are interested in joining.
For now, take a wander round, and tell me what you think.
I'm delighted you're here.