Ingle Nooks


In the recess of our memory there will be an image of a special place. We would hide there when mother was on the warpath. It was our secret place, safe and secure, down in the woodshed, under the verandah, up the tree, even under the bed. As the years pass so we acquire new special places. Like security blankets they protect us from change.

Home is often our special place. After a hard day at the office the heart slows down as we come toward the drive and swing into our little niche. The smells, the feel, is secure and warming. We probably even have that special room, and even a special chair. Some people even have a special pair of slippers.

I was looking through some books on house designs in the 20's. Some of the features are very interesting and the styles unique. I do love the Californian Bungalow style, particularly when it reflects arts and crafts features. Even more so, the austere chunky "mission" finish. I once owned a home that had some of those features. It was built just after the Great War, beautifully stained timber throughout that, thankfully, had not been painted in the intervening years.

One of the features I love in an "arts and crafts" home is the Ingle Nook. This was a Scottish feature which was incorporated into the "craft" homes of the time. Off the loungeroom there was a little side alcove with an open fireplace in it. Leadlight windows were placed either side of the chimney, little bookcases either side of the fireplace, and two pews on the side walls of the alcove. What a lovely place to sit in front of an open fire with a large mug of coffee in one hand and a good book in the other. I would love to own a home with an Ingle Nook.

Church is often a special place. The whole feel of the church building can be very relaxing, very secure and reliable, constant. It's why we don't like any changes to the architecture of the building, or the services and the music.

Yet, in the end these places of security fade. There is no permanent security in the nooks of this world. "Safe in the arms of Jesus" is the only nook of security from the push and shove of life and the inevitable shadow of death. Jesus told his disciples he had a place prepared for them in God's presence, a room in his heavenly mansion, a special place of security before the glowing warmth of God's presence. I have to say, the promise of an eternal Ingle Nook is my type of heaven.