According to my mother, Scuppers the Sailor Dog, was my big brother’s favorite bedtime story. Scuppers. This little dog grew up on a farm but dreamt of life at sea. But if I’m being honest, the thing I remember most about Scuppers, was not his shipwreck or his adventures in foreign lands; what I remember is that he had a hook for his hat, a hook for his pants, a hook for his shirt, a hook his rope… This pup knew how to turn his space into a cozy home--not just any space--he turned a tiny room on a little ship into a cozy home.
We talk about taking pride in the things we have. It’s a lesson we want our children to understand, but do we understand? Several years ago, I visited Haiti. In Port au Prince, the air is dusty and filled with soot from burning garbage. In some places I didn’t realize piles of rusty tin and plastic were homes. But I remember feeling a deep respect for these women as I watched them sweep their dirt floors with wire brooms. Keeping their floors clean was not only work, it seemed impossible to me. But every swish of the broom was an act of love.
Helping someone to build a home is not just about providing shelter. A home is a living, breathing thing, and the relationship we have with our home affects the way people feel about it. You scold whatever objects stubbed your toe and resent the windows for being drafty. But it is your home sweet home. There is a warmth and beauty in seeing someone loving their home. Love your home; be kind to it; when you embrace your home, it embraces you back.