Cyn’s Room


With a combination of trepidation and excitement, I entered my new room at Riversleigh manor. Excitement because this feels like the beginning of a new, wonderful adventure….trepidation because…..well…I will explain that anon. I turn the key in the lock and hear the sliding metal click and clank into place. I turn the knob slowly, cautiously, and step into my room….nay not just my room but my future. Perhaps that is where some of trepidation comes from. My future – fear of the unknown.

As I walked into the room, I realized I had closed my eyes and held my breath. Opening my eyes just a slit and peering through my lashes, I exhaled sharply. It was an exhale of deep relief and it was then that I realized the biggest reason for my previous worries about my room. I had this vision of the Manor house. I pictured elegant, sumptuous rooms, lavish, elaborate décor….silks, velvets, huge imposing furniture….all of that which comes to mind when you hear the word Manor. In particular, with the description I had been given of the beautiful Lady Riversleigh, I was sure that she and her surroundings would be lush and richly attired. To my great relief, my room was none of those.

Don’t get me wrong. It is a beautiful room. In fact, I could picture no more beautiful room than this but it is tastefully decorated in a simple manner. The décor hints of a time gone by. It speaks of early pioneer days and yet hints at a past that was somewhat more elegant. I got the picture of someone leaving a well-to-do home in Europe, bringing with them their furniture and belongings to settle in Canada and begin a new life as an early pioneer. The furnishings were simple wooden structures but boasted small intricate details common to Victorian times. The dresser and wash stand had marble tops on them and over the mirrors, there were carved details of swirls, curves, and a few carefully placed small flowers. The drawer pulls also boasted the same small intricacies on them looking much like brass medallions with angels’ wings attached. The bed, matching the other furniture, had a very high head board to it, reaching right up to the ceiling and also sporting the same carved detail as the rest of the furniture.

The bed was made with piles of pillows and handmade quilts, faded with time, but beautiful pieces of art nonetheless. On the washstand there was a pitcher and bowl set handpainted with huge glorious cabbage roses and green leafy accents and had next to them, a small stack of bath linens. The linens were trimmed with exquisitely handstitched lace trim and were well worn into that lovely soft state that only the oldest, most well –used and well-loved fabrics can have. I picked one up and rubbed it gently against my cheek before continuing my survey of the room. At the foot of the bed there was an old “hope chest”, lined with cedar to keep away those pesky moths and filled with additional bed and bath linens as well as some of the loveliest dressing gowns I had ever seen. Again, they were simple; white, trimmed with handmade lace of the softest sort and made of a fabric that just begged to be touched. There were even warm fuzzy slippers in the trunk!

As I looked at my surroundings, I felt such a sense of calm and comfort come over me. Whoever had set this room up for me had clearly done their homework. This room spoke of me and to me like none I had ever seen even in my own home. In fact, the furnishings for the most part duplicated those in my own home with some additions that made the space simply perfect. Had I been put into the luxurious, fancy room I had envisioned, my stay might not have been a very long one. I couldn’t envision myself being comfortable in such a room no matter how gorgeous it would have been. And with the dark times I have been battling in my life, I so craved comfort just now. If there were such a thing as “comfort food” for the soul, this room clearly fit the bill. I am so grateful and appreciative of whomever arranged this for me. This is truly just what I need and I can feel the darkness lifting already.

I hear a knock at the door and open it to see Matron standing there bearing a tray of the marvellous chicken soup I have heard of and been so craving, along with freshly baked bread rolls that she informs me have just come out of the oven. She informs me proudly that her daughter Roberta is responsible for making these rolls and declares them better than any I will ever taste! They certainly smell delicious. For a “sweet treat” she has also included some small tea cakes also baked by her daughter. Also on the tray is a pot of tea and a vase of Colleen’s lovely roses. The aroma from them competes with that from the bread as being absolutely so beautiful that it’s entrancing. Matron tells me that she hears I have been feeling poorly and so the teapot contains a tea made of Loretta’s special herbal blend. She says it will have me feeling better in no time. I am already headed in that direction with all the hospitality I have felt since arriving at the Manor. I am further informed that Loretta has offered me her services as an acupuncturist (yum! I do love acupuncture and find it helps me to feel so much better when my bones and muscles are aching) and that the stables stand ready whenever I am prepared to begin my horseback riding lessons. Now how did Matron know I had been wanting such lessons?

I crawl into bed with my tray of goodies, outfitted in a lovely dressing gown and bedsocks to keep my toes toasty. A fire was started in the fireplace from me and it looks and feels heavenly. I am wrapped in the soft comfort of a quilt and with every breath I take I can feel the tension leaving my body. Riversleigh is clearly just what I have been needing and I look forward to what the following days here will bring.

Originally written and posted on Dec. 30, 2006

Published in: on December 21, 2008 at 2:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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