House Blessings

Buddha tree

Forgive the silence of the past few weeks. We’re still here, deeply entrenched in flooring and painting, not to mention a particularly annoying countertop snafu. With some luck, all will come together…. just as we prepare to leave for Asia again!

The in-laws visited last weekend, bearing house-warming gifts (muchas gracias!) and the necessary ingredients for an informal house-dedication ceremony. A little bread (papadam chips for the gluten-free among us), a little salt and a sip of apricot brandy. May we always have the essentials of life, plus a little drink for joy. Louis Untermeyer’s Prayer for This House was read, wishing goodness through our door and peace throughout our rooms.

One of the gifts was a spirit house

Spirit house

…and we knew precisely where to put it. We have, directly behind the house, an enormous mulberry tree (we also have a bunch of ugly fences, which will be removed) with branches that shade the patio, cool the house and give shelter to an abundance of critters. It’s a calming place, the place to which we retreat most evenings around sunset as we admire the sky and dry the day’s sweat from our skin.

In Thailand, such massive trees are wrapped in saffron, signifying their importance (and saying, “Please don’t chop me down!”). We realized a few weeks ago that our tree needed a robe.


And a few offerings for the spirits…


Incense, wine and rice. Perhaps in time we will offer corn and tequila, more in line with local tastes. But for now, I hope, our house is suitably blessed and the spirits sated.

6 thoughts on “House Blessings

  1. Will you be divining lottery tips from the mulberry tree, as they do in Thailand? 🙂 Please share any guaranteed winning numbers!

  2. Hello Karen,

    I refer to the photo of the top with the yello robe (monk robe). Do you know in Cambodia we do the same. We want to keep the trees as long as possible. When we do like this no one will chop the tree down.



  3. Hi Rith,
    Yes, this is very common in many parts of Asia. Unfortunately, it was sad to see how many trees (unwrapped) were cut down around our condo in Chiang Mai, mostly for development.

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