Thursday, June 23, 2011

Frames, Francis, and Felines

As the end of June nears, I find myself struck by how quickly time has passed. It has been a little over a year since we began the work to remodel the house and a little less than a year since Weber and I were married. To mark these milestones we are doing our best to assimilate mine, his, and ours to create a home that is comfortable and uniquely ours.

After the arrival of dining room furniture tomorrow, every room will have furniture. I can say this because kitchens don’t have furniture; so, the fact that we are still minus a functional kitchen doesn’t compromise the truth of my statement about furniture. Well, we will eventually need bar stools but that seems like small potatoes in the big scheme of things.

Now that we have furnishings, we can start to hang art on the walls and add those little touches that make a house a home. Once we got all of our pictures and prints in one place I was amazed by just how much we have – photographs that I have taken, paintings done by Weber’s mother and grandmother, prints that we have collected, a few original pieces, and several icons. We spent today looking at our collection, deciding what should go where, and buying the necessary frames. Since we have removed a few walls, we may very well have more art than we do wall space. I can think of worse situations. (Like no sink, or stove, or cabinets . . .) Back to the point-

One of the things that needed a frame was this.

It is an image of St. Francis done by artist Catherine Nolin. ( This was Weber’s wedding gift to me. Sadly it has been safely tucked amidst a cardboard sandwich for nearly a year. I remember thinking when I first saw it that it was beautiful but that it didn’t make any sense to frame it and hang it at that point because we were in a state of transition. I decided to wait until we had moved and settled into our new home so that it would have a room, or at least a wall, of its own.

Looking at this picture again today with fresh eyes, I still think it is beautiful. I feel like I am right there with Francis, watching him, feeling him, admiring him, and breathing his essence. The door is open for me to follow him, to join him on the path of humility, love, and joy.

The thing that today struck me most about this image is the cat. To most, there is probably nothing particularly striking about this cat. However, if you are a regular reader here, you may remember that in the assimilation of mine, his and ours in the “ours” is a kitten who came to live with us shortly after we returned from our honeymoon.

Though in her baby pictures the kitten is pure white, as she has grown orange highlights have emerged. To me she looks like a toasted marshmallow. She also looks like the cat it the picture. They both have the orange ears and tail and faint orange shadings on their backs. And, they both enjoy sitting, or lying, at the door and watching the world outside. It is as if our newest family member was the model for Catherine Nolin’s depiction of St. Francis.

As I have said more than once, I don’t believe in coincidence. That Weber chose this particular picture of St. Francis when there are literally hundreds of them available, that it contains a cat that looks just like ours, at that our cat’s name is Frankie, a name that we did not chose for her, are things that did not happen simply by chance.

What is meant to be will be.