Rise of the She Shed


Photo: Ilana Hulsey Rea

The She Shed. The Girl Cave. The Getaway. The Hidey Hole. It amazes me this “phenomenon” of private space if that word even fits. I’m old-fashioned and calling the space the hubbie just broke ground on my studio. This space apart from the house, nestled in the garden, was always a fantasy, something dreamt up in moments of creative craziness that is now becoming a reality.

The hubbie has been awesome in repairing or raising the fences and building trellises for my vegetable garden and in the process has made a discovery of his own. Not only does he like building stuff, he’s actually good at it (you know, the civil engineer major who works in software project management but “always wanted to be an architect” finds his voice story-in-process). On Mother’s Day when he said out of the blue he wanted to build me this space, I resisted a bit, like who am I (not employed, not as creatively productive, etc, etc)? Also, how would we afford it? But months later, he was not giving up and I took some time to think about his offer rather than automatically shut it down under sentiments of unworthiness or dismissal. In spite of my doubt, hubbie continually researched and worked on plans, drew up budgets, sourced materials before he had any idea where the money would come from.

I know that I am entering a phase of great productivity and clarity, partially because Em will be starting preschool in September, partially because it has already begun organically. It is an extension of being a mother, the product of slowing down to show Em how to appreciate the beauty of trees, good cooking, fresh air and fresh picked produce, to explore her creativity be it painting birdhouses, building sculptures out of Daddy’s wood scraps, taking pictures or twirling ribbons and rings in gymnastics. The Now is a beautiful, sweet time of strengthening our bond before she goes to school. As I continue to embrace The Now, creation (short stories, poetry, gardens) erupts and blooms. And, the studio space, that secret fantasy space devoted to creation and stillness, is manifesting itself through the love and skill of one gentle man who found a way with budget and time and around my skepticism. All of can say is a humble, “Wow.”


What are your thoughts?