Ingle Nooks


In the recess of our memory there will be an image of a special place where we would hide 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.

Our home, and the land it sits on, is often our special place, our country. 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 is an alcove with an open fireplace in it. Leadlight windows are placed either side of the chimney with little bookcases either side of the fireplace, and two high-backed pews called Settles 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, and why we go ballistic if some bright-spark thinks it's a good idea to sell it.

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. I am reminded of Jesus words to his disciples; "Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home ..... and I'm on my way to get a room ready for you." Just an Ingle Nook will do me, Lord!


[Pumpkin Cottage]