Inspiration wanders in and lights a candle. Monday mornings I am in great need of inspiration as I awake with anxiety and anticipation as usual. A fresh start to make amends for previous mistakes, and see what would lie beyond the door.
The morning progressed as usual as I made each persons breakfast, a few lunches and sent my husband and children off with a smile–well an attempted smile. The daily chores of cleaning, dinner preparation, phone calls, conversations with family flowed into the evening activities: dinner,ballet, track, baseball followed by family night, scriptures, and prayer. When all were settled I go quietly to the basement laundry room and tiptoe behind the furnace to see if the door pull appears on the concrete door etched into the floor.
My husband and I first discovered the door when we removed some old shelving. It had no door pull and we couldn’t open it no matter how much effort or what tool we used. One night after a particularly busy day I went down to turn the laundry light off. I used to refer to this large enclosed space of the basement as the dungeon where I spent many hours doing laundry, sewing, mending, ironing, science projects, and fixing this and that. Deciding to look at the door as I often did, wondering what was sealed underneath, I noticed a metal loop fastened securely to the edge of the concrete door. I know it wasn’t there earlier in the day when I’d been in here to wash the sheets. I touched the cold metal. It was real. I lifted the pull and the door opened with a little effort–no way this was concrete. The hinges seemed old but newly oiled and clean. I grabbed a flashlight from a nearby shelf and scanned the dark hole where steps descended. Where did they go? Stone steps and stone walls smelling of damp mustiness took me down to a stone landing with moss growing in the cracks and up the wall. Sneezing loudly I froze. Allergies. I hope no one heard me. Stone steps went up to another door cut in the ceiling–maybe in another part of the basement which was concealed by the old tiled floor. I could hear my heart beating and breath loudly in my ears that first time I opened the door. It was a room like an old cabin. Covered couch, table and chairs, fireplace, small sideboard with sink and pitcher, bucket by the door, window over the sink looked out to a meadow and forest, and a small bed against the back door-unmade. A large wooden box was filled with linens and other things. Pots and pans sat ready under the sink. Lifting the latch on the door I walked out into the cold looking at the small cottage swallowed in night with a path that went to the river.
Somedays the metal ring would be there others it was gone. Today it was visible and I moved quickly to the base of the stairs where the wooden door now appeared. It first appeared when after several times of going to the cottage I had showed my husband. He was the only one who could open the door and inside was a room right out of his dreams. The walls were of fine wood like an old fashioned library. A leather couch, fireplace,leather wingback at a table, a wall of books along one wall and a large screen tv across facing the couch. We spent time in the hideout as we called it, and sometimes the cottage, together or separately. Tonight Kal was sound asleep in bed and I was ready to sit snuggled by the cottage fireplace and read a book. I built a fire and settled down when a knock came at the door.