This past weekend, I hosted an open mic/art show at the homestead. It was an evening the had me enthralled and I didn't want it to end. A poet, a sculptor, a singer and a spoken word performer, amongst a few more writers and creative geniuses, graced us with their offerings. It was such a sacred time that ushered summer in with profound, but gentle truth. I am almost at the end of making a big transition that I announced last week. Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement in this season. It has meant so much to me and my husband.
In reflecting about the first days of summer that are upon us all, I couldn't help but think about this past season and the direction of my life. I wrote this for the Open Mic with the prompt I gave the other participants: We will meet the weekend before Summer Solstice to celebrate the changing of seasons. Using that prompt, please create something, or pick something you already have with a similar theme to share.
I want to share it with those of you who couldn't be there before I head out of town for my annual no-technology week next week. I will post some pics of the yard later this week, but here is the piece - Finding Home Sweet Home
After I was born, my parents brought me home. Home was a typical middle class suburban house in a Western Washington neighborhood.
The home sat nestled in a few pine trees with other houses not too close, but not too far away either. I grew up playing in the street with other kids, and painting on an easel my mom set up for me in her art studio.
Although I was young, I remember feeling safe at the fact that my room was sandwiched between my two older brothers' and my parents' rooms.
Home changed though as my father's appetite for a house with a view grew. He moved us to his custom dream home on a cliff with a driveway a tenth of a mile long. Our neighbors were senior citizens destined to live out their lives in peace and tranquility.
Our home became anything but that and the word home began to scare me. I didn't face that fear though. Rather, as a tween, I tried to rise above it - become more - but more of what?
Seasons marched on. After the divorce, we moved miles away from anything familiar with my mom, to another house on a cliff. Our family teetered close to the proverbial edge as we tried to regain footing.
We were not supposed to get comfortable in the mustard colored kitchen and rooms with burnt orange carpet. The wood paneling belonged in someone else's home - from ages ago - not mine.
I didn't long for new, shiny, or big - I wanted to feel safe; to ease my worry; to be able to meet other people and play. Eventually we moved again, right next door to wait for the season when the mustard and orange would fade away, but they stayed as long as I did and the promised home was built long after I moved out.
For some students in college, going home meant familiarity, comfort and warmth. For me those first years back were a jumble of broken dreams, dysfunction and some money and humor to hide the pain.
I began to realize that maybe I never understood what home was. False senses of security and conditional love on a foundation of perfection and approval introduced seasons of burnout and sickness.
Home was nowhere to be found. And definitely not sweet.
The deconstruction took many moons, many cycles, and the tides never seemed to stop ebbing and flowing.
I was whittled down to a cornerstone - a landing place where I finally started reconstruction - in a valley far from any cliffs. There were seasons of abundance and drought. But the house being built was different - with awareness and intentionality - knowing privilege and gaining appreciation of diversity of land, food, and people.
Home is something I'm increasingly finding has to do more with my soul than the places it inhabits. But when that soul manifests itself, when I tune into the Center - my truth - the place takes on a different meaning too.
This past winter was a deep hibernation. One that was haunted with wishes of others and good intentions gone awry. I knew spring would come, I just didn't know what would bloom. This time of processing was different though. The roots were there waiting with patience. The hours, days and years of trying to figure out home had finally found one in me. It called out and I answered knowing the risk of going deeper into this home - adding on and tending the soil instead of using an easy weed killer.
Coming home is what I am beckoned to do. To do it in a radical way. To go back to my grandmother's roots, but also continue to nourish my own. To show-up for my life - to be present for my husband, my neighbors, and my work. The call is not to bake and be barefoot, but dig new life into a beat-up house and a weary soul. To find sparks of meaning with each transition, each season; with each student, directee, and friend I come in contact with. To rediscover the simple truth that exists just below the surface of the earth and our skin -- that we are all beloved. That is what coming home truly is, and I'm glad I've found my home sweet home in this season.