Empty Spaces

A friend recently asked, “Are your empty walls part of the minimalist thing?” 

Fifteen years ago when my husband and I bought our first house, I went to antique stores, thrift shops and Winners finding things to fill every wall, nook and cranny of our new home.  Some things I liked, some were OK and some just took up space. Five years ago we bought our second home, and I used the process of sorting and packing our belongings to hang onto only those things I really loved.  As a result, there wasn’t much to pack and our new home had a lot of empty walls, but I see them as more full than empty.

Every piece hanging on our walls has a story to tell.  The cow print is from the first trip my husband and I took together, the boxwood wreath is made by a friend’s daughter, and the art deco mirror was originally a clock given to us by our eighty year old neighbor.  With fewer things in our home, we appreciate what we have and the story that goes along with piece.

I’ve been thinking about the other empty spaces in my life. Not as spaces to fill up, but as opportunities to live fully.  Maybe some of these speak to you. I want an…

Empty space in my calendar for a new friend. 

Empty space in my day to finally call that old friend.

Empty page to write all the things.

Empty moments for quiet contemplation.

Empty hours to create freely.

Empty day to take me where the wind blows.

Empty hands to hold someone else’s. 

Empty arms to hug someone who needs to be held.

Empty place at our dinner table for someone who needs a meal.

Empty chair for someone who needs to know there is room for them.

Empty space in my heart to receive love, grace, and mercy.

For me empty spaces are less about minimalism (although I do strive to live with fewer things) and more about freedom.  Freedom to connect and create. This is not easy. The pace and demands of life have never been faster or more frivolous.  Being thoughtful about empty spaces slows life down, allowing time for self, others, and a little wonder.

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