When you build your house, be sure to build it well. As with all important undertakings, begin with a sense of purpose, and with hope in your heart. Draw the designs on your lover’s back with a feather pen. Collect the best tools you can find, and sharpen them all with a sense of wonder.
Gather your peers together to help. Feed them wild honey and craftsman’s cheese. Slake their thirst with pink lemonade and cups of freshly fallen rain.
If some of them play harp or clarinet or drum, let them form an orchestra to lend a soundtrack of shanties and dirges, madrigals and hymns to your long days of toil and joy.
don’t worry about the distance to malls or schools. Choose a spot near a body of water, deep and wide, and with a decent view of the seasons passing by. Keep in mind you will want a garden with a pear tree for reading poems under, and a shady grove that owls and foxes will be drawn to.
When you dig that first hole for the foundation, pay attention to the dirt your spade bites into. Notice the complex perfume of promise and decay. Notice the tenacious weeds and the fragile imprint of extinct creatures. Listen to the whispered conversation of stones and time, and join in when you have something important to add.
When the time comes to put up walls, don’t make them too thick. Plan to have the sound of laughter leak from room to room. Make sure there are lots of windows so that the moon and wind can come and go as they please.
Remember that no two houses should ever be exactly alike. Think eggplant and crimson, gargoyles and flamingos, kiwi green and bubblegum pink. Think weather vanes shaped like angels and whales. If possible, add a unique architectural flourish or two?a moon garden or a labyrinth or a tower of stone.
When the job is close to finished, let your mind wander from room to room, lighting lamps and candles along the way. Imagine the surfaces of avocado and cream, the ceiling stars, the comforts of kettle and claw-foot tub, the curtains alive with breeze. Climb the stairs and sit on the roof, feeling the summer sun melting into your bones.
Imagine what it will be like when everything is done. But always take time to idle and dream. Never work too long or too late. After all, It’s just a house.