Thursday, March 19, 2015


Our house, built long before we moved here, was constructed by a group of Franciscan monks who built it as an office next door to the building where they lived.  It is an interesting history for a house, but what we love most about it is that these monks built our house using passive solar design.

The clerestory windows just under the roofline keep the house full of light and warmth all winter long when the sun is low on the horizon.  The large roof overhang covers the windows just so that as the summer sun passes high overhead, the overhangs block direct sunlight keeping the house cool.  The design of our home is in harmony with the sun as it circles the sky, which in many ways keeps us in harmony as well.

There is one window in our home that embodies this harmony and leaves us every spring equinox feeling like we live in Stonehenge.  You see, every spring equinox the sun sets in this window casting a blinding light down through our entire house for about 15 minutes.  It only happens for about 3-5 days surrounding the equinox.  We make sure we are home each night that week to stand in the blinding light and celebrate the beginning of spring.

The equinox window is above the woodstove

I can't say whether the placement of that window was intentional or not, but given how our home and the sun are constantly in harmony, I like to think the intention was there.  As I watched the sun stream through the house with such intensity tonight, I thought of the monks and our friends who lived here before us. I couldn't help but feel incredibly grateful for those who built this house and all of the history these walls hold.  I thought of each of them standing in this same light on the spring equinox and being bathed in the promise of the season to come.  

1 comment:

  1. Such a wonderful home and a great story. My guess is it was intentional. Have a great weekend. We're expecting snow here in New York. Hopefully it won't be as much as they're predicting. : ( Have a great weekend!!

    ~ Wendy