I was 27 and battling a Jane Austen life-crisis. (Single, with no prospect of marriage, and about to officially become a burden on my parents.) However, the crisis was averted after a house hunting adventure uncovered this hidden gem that turned out to be perfect for my first place. As soon as I walked in the door, I knew. (So did my realtor. After looking at several other properties that day (all of them dismal), I bravely looked at him and declared, “I think I want to make an offer.” He replied, “Well…that’s good! Because as soon as we left the house I made a call to the office to get the paperwork started.” “I just had a feeling,” he said.) I miraculously went to closing just two weeks later, and after signing papers for the biggest commitment of my life…I promptly left the country for two weeks on holiday. The last stop of that trip was to visit a friend of mine who lives in Ireland. In the midst of catching up, I couldn’t help but mention my big news, and her first question to me was ,“What did you name it?”
Name what? I thought. My house? I’d never even thought of that. After all, not many houses in the US have names. But to her Irish sensibilities, all houses should have names. A la, Pemberly or Green Gables. Her childhood home had a wonderful name. Sadly, I can’t remember what it was, but the few times they had to relocate, they would christen their new home with it too.
So I sat down and pondered. What should I name my house? I thought about wanting to capture the idea of warmth and welcome and refuge I hoped my home would embody. I scoured my geeky knowledge to see if something from one of my favorite sagas would jump out at me.
And then it struck me: My house is my little piece of the world. The tiny corner of the universe I get to call home. Being the Lord of the Rings fan I am (and wanting my house name to give a nod to the beautiful Celtic country where I was inspired to name it), I immediately went to see if I could translate “tiny corner” into Elvish. And voila. There it was. As soon as I spotted the words in Elvish, I knew I had a winner:
"Mitsa Mar." Roughly translated it’s “small house,” and I love it. (Tolkien didn’t develop Elvish enough to have words for either “tiny” or “corner”, so I used mitsa which means “small” and mar which means “home, house, or dwelling.”)
My house *is* small. Very small by American standards. But it’s perfect for me. And in many ways, it seems bigger on the inside. I’ve had the great joy to host wonderful evenings full of friendship and laughter. I’ve had the honor to extend hospitality to those who needed a place to stay. I’ve grown to love the solace of having a place to call my own…a refuge to come home to after being off on adventures (sometimes halfway around the world).
Finding it was definitely a miracle. But I know I was meant to be the steward of this little place. My small house. My tiny corner of the universe.
Mitsa Mar. ------------------------------------------ This post was inspired by Five Minute Friday and this week's word - "small"