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A Thousand Words

Text by: Marnie Parker
photography by: Kevin Parker Photography

It happened while riding near the village of Fougêres during our two-week cycling trip down the coast of Brittany, France. We happened upon the most charming French chalet; a breathtaking image forever etched in my soul. Climbing vines and fragrant roses crept silently up the door and window frames, perfectly encasing their glorious prize. Pots of bright blooms spilled over and cascaded down the stone brick walls as softly as a tiered waterfall. The weathered shutters were thrown back welcoming, almost beckoning, the morning rays to linger and dance upon the poured glass, window panes. I felt myself gravitating towards the vivid, crimson colored door as if it were inviting me to come in for a cup of tea and tarry for a while. The cottage oozed with warmth and ambiance, and I found myself wanting to burst through the front doors and envelop myself with whatever may lay within. For if it was as welcoming and grand as the exterior, the interior and people inside were sure to be even lovelier. We stared, mesmerized for minutes without speaking. It was magical in a way. This encounter left me pondering my own home and front entrance way. Would strangers off the street find it inviting? And if not pleasing to strangers, what am I saying, or not saying, involuntarily to my family, friends, neighbors, and community through the outer appearance of my home?
© Kevin Parker Photography
It takes just a quick glance, maybe five seconds, for a person to make an evaluation when meeting you for the first time. In this miniscule moment, an opinion of who you are on the inside is formed solely based on your appearance, your demeanor, your body language, and your mannerisms. The clothes you are wearing might reveal the type of mood you are in. The body language you are exhibiting shows a level of self-confidence you might possess. And the words you speak could very well articulate your background and education.
It is often said that, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So can it not be assumed that the “picture” you first present to the world reveals a great deal about who you are and the life you lead? If this is true, then, regarding personal first impressions, couldn’t the same assumption be made with regard to the impressions a visitor might make when gazing upon the exterior of our own homes for the first time? Would the sight of the front door beckon them in or turn them away? Would they want to stay longer within your beautiful garden, or would they run as fast as they could from your dreary abode? More importantly, what would the outside reveal about the people who reside within? Would they think beautiful people lived inside? While pondering these thoughts, I realized that my own doorway was vastly neglected and decided in that moment to improve upon it. The gateway to my own home did not truly characterize or embody those that live within. We are wonderful, good people, and I wanted everyone to know it. At this time,
© Jessica Ceason Photography
the editors of Polite Society would like to announce their first Polite Society Challenge. Each month, they will be issuing a thought-provoking and action-inducing concept with the intent and belief that, as each challenge is met, you will feel a sense of accomplishment in the positive transformations you are making.
This month, consider your own front door and what it may or may not say about you. What impression does it give to those who come for a visit? Does your front door beckon to those who gaze upon it? And is your entryway a proper representation of the beautiful people who live inside? There is no need to spend a fortune to make it appealing. Start small. An attractive wreath, a pot of flowers, a welcome mat, a bright coat of paint, or a pair of matching topiaries can do wonders for the look of your front door. Perhaps you are artistic and can even go as far as adding a personally created sculpture or painting to the vicinity. The possibilities for beautifying your home are endless.