New Home, Homecoming...
We are headed home today. A great time had but now I am ready to be home. Back in routine, and my home. I miss my boyfriend, my pets, my bed. My life. I miss my life. This vacation was clearly part of my life, but I miss the habits and curiosities that exist only in my own home.
I got a text last night which grew into a conversation with some friends. They bought their first home. It just all worked out. It was meant to be and now they are the proud owners of a lovely house, which in good time will become the foundation for their lives.
I was overjoyed at the news. Mostly because I love them and think they are amazing people and I am so incredibly happy for them to have their own little slice of heaven in Ojai. But also because there is something wonderful about coming home to yourself.
Let me explain.
I have owned several houses. I am acutely aware of what a privilege this is. There are people who never get to own just one. And I don’t think that I actually understood just how amazing it is to be the owner of your own home, until I listened to a podcast by a guy who grew up in foster care. He described the feeling of his first night in his own home, that he bought with his own money, that no one could make him leave or take him away from. And it made me weep. Seriously, driving in my car, bawling my eyes out for a man that I have never met because his words were so powerful. The images of that tiny boy grown into a man who never, ever until that first night in his own home slept with any kind of peace. I might be crying again right now...
There is so much to be said for safety. A pervasive feeling that you are ok, that you are safe, well, cared for, free from worry. Homes do not always provide that, and I suppose no home really can all the time. I know my house is often fraught with strife and I do not feel safe. But that is not the case most of the time, and in the end of the analysis, I do have choices in this regard to remove or block the agitator. And I will, soon.
But having a place that is your own. Not just a place where you put your head every night but a true sanctuary that is created, maintained, and curated by you and your beloveds. This is sanctuary. This is heaven for me.
I can’t wait to return to mine today. I miss its particularities, its little nuances, its smell. I miss the people and pets that live there. I miss the yard and the trees and all the flowers. I miss being in my sanctuary with the people I have granted access.
And this, this is what I am most excited about for my friends. They will know this feeling soon. Perhaps they already do. They called me from there last night, happy, making lists of all the things that they want to do to make this place their own. And the pride and effort, and love and elation just floated up and out of the house in Oak View, CA and make it all the way down to my heart and mind here in San Diego. That is the feeling that coming home can and will do for someone.
My friends have worked hard. It has been a weird three years. One lost her job and she was the income earner. They endured the pandemic with grace and positive attitude, choosing to pretty much retreat. Life has not been easy but I have watched them work together, building this life that is beautiful and amazing and theirs. And I am so privileged to have borne witness.
Spontaneous joy is what I feel. These two beautiful souls finding their own slice of peace on earth, a homecoming of magnificent order, together, building this life in their own way and manner, now being able to do it with their constant dog companion in a place of their own. I am so happy for them. And I can’t wait to see what they create.
I am so excited for the long hours of labor they are about to endure, because I know first hand that there is no better feeling than toiling for days on a project in a home you own finally being completed. Being able to sit back and just enjoy the fruits of your labor while sitting outside watching night claim the sky once more.
This is the scene I have set for them. Dirty, grimy, tired and disheveled, they take their dinner out into the backyard, filled currently with foxtails, and they sit down on some log or perhaps even a chair they have managed to drag over from the rental. And they sit, watching the sun bid us all farewell, arm in arm, watching Jack Jack chase a ball. As daylight ceases and night takes over, one leans toward the other and rest her head on the shoulder of the other and they smile and laugh and whole heartedly enjoy the moment that their lives took up residency in this new abode.
I wish I could paint, because I would if I could. I would paint this picture and give it to them as a homecoming gift. But I can’t paint, actually I have never tried, so really I have no idea, but I am fairly doubtful that I have this latent painting talent yet to be discovered, so instead I paint my landscape for their lives with my paint, words. I see them, head on shoulder, watching the stars rise and bless their homecoming, each to their own, and unto each other. Working for the day when they will wake up daily and see that all that inner work, hard labor, recovery and internal struggle, was worth every single minute. Because in my experience to truly appreciate the feeling of sanctuary curated, it always begins as an inside job. And the outward manifestations only happen, can only happen, once the inner work reaches its nadir. Otherwise a home is just a house where you keep all your stuff, instead of being a container that holds your life, your heart and soul. The difference is clear to anyone, however, only the really lucky get to live that divide.
May rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of His hand. May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.
This is the photo they sent me last night, which leaves out the home, but I think fittingly, captures the heart and soul of the land...