By Michelle Hynes

If you look closely… You might see all the dust that gathers on every surface in this old house. Or you might notice that we haven’t washed the windows in a pretty long time. (I notice that myself, in the rainy season, especially after we put the storm windows on.) You might spy the piles of paper waiting for our attention, or the haphazard stacks of books that don’t quite fit on the shelves.

I hope you won’t look too closely, though, at the imperfections that catch my attention. I hope that when you walk in the front door of this old house, you see a wide open and welcoming space. I hope you see that there’s a tray of treats set out just for you. The water in the kettle is hot, and we have lots of choices for tea. I’ll give you the seat on the couch that faces the well-curated bookshelf, and not the mess on the dining-room table.

I hope you’ll come and stay a while, and you won’t look too closely at anything except my smile. You’ll know I’m glad to see you, and you won’t mind a bit of dust on the floors. If you look closely, you’ll see what matters and what doesn’t. If you look closely.