Leap and the net will appear...
What a time it's been. The move, the great sweeping learning curves, the laughter, the weeping, the joy, the profound moments, the tender times, and watching, truly seeing, magic happen.
Today, fairly settled in -- still more work to do unpacking and organizing but each day it looks more and more like a home -- the most marvelous thing happened and you will see pictures soon.
The shutters and ornate iron pillars, now rusting a bit, were a dark, not very attractive, green. I had to add softness and color, and the colors of my heart when it comes to a home, are that of the adobe walls of New Mexico, and their sky blue doors. The shutters and pillars are now painted that soft pinky brown adobe, my front door a bright sky blue, and my attached garage door is sky blue with a thin strip of adobe on top, the trim on the little windows painted blue. It is just beautiful.
Then ... then! Ha! Into the secret world where magic is afoot. In the huge yard where the dogs play there is a wonderful large shed, and and at the back my beloved ship which was more rotted than I realized. My wonderful workmen powerwashed the shed and the boat, reroofed the shed, tore off old and worn boards, and gave my ship a facelift, and the shed was painted the most wonderful purple, a bright orchid really, with brilliant orange trim, the same persimmon that my studio is painted. The ship is the same purple as the shed with the trim persimmon and the stairs and plank up to the ship and and some of the other little bits of trim and deck will be painted a deep hot pink on Monday. Oh heavens! wait until you see what is going on out there. The workmen just laugh and laugh. They say they can't imagine what is coming next. I said maybe the cream colored brick of the house should be painted lime green! Of course I was kidding. One of the workman, delighted by all the goings on, said that with the shed and the ship painted such bright colors the place is starting to look very like a page out of a Dr. Seuss book! Just you wait ... I'm only just beginning!
Next week after they finish painting the ship, swirling in hot pink, the garden just off the deck will have a little fence put up around it with a gate to keep the dogs from doing their business in the potager (kitchen garden) where flowers, herbs and vegetables will grow, and the fence will be painted that hot pink, going right up to the purple and orange shed. It is to the left of the shed, and just off the marvelous deck where the dogs go out and down into the yard, and yes, the deck will be painted a wonderful color too. I think a bright grassy green to go with the landscape. Eventually, with a little project each month, there will be a magical land behind the privacy fence out of the back of my house, hidden from the road, with the front of the little cottage looking soft, lovely, and sedate. I like the idea of being rather hidden and anonymous. I love the thought of an ordinary world opening onto a magical land, and that it shall be, from the hollyhocks, sunflowers, foxglove, roses, wisteria and other old fashioned flowers, to the small herbs, tomatoes, bright neon colored chard and more in the little garden. There will be many gardens, thematic and surprising.
There is a wonderful garden shed at the back of the yard near the boat but it is a plain silver, well, I don't know what you call it, aluminum? You all know what they look like. It won't look that way for long! And in the middle of the yard, between four trees that make a big squared off area, we shall dig a big pond, my worker bees and I, and it will have koi and water plants -- lotus aplenty, water hyacinth and more, with plants and koi shared from the worker's mother, with old benches I shall hunt for, under the towering trees, a wonderful place to meditate and reflect, perhaps write haiku, and dream the dreams that nature inspires.
Some years back my psychiatrist put a little tile up on her wall that had been painted. A little figure was leaping off a cliff into space. It said, "Leap and the net will appear." I loved that and never forgot it. That's why my life has been like lately. Even with toilets flooding and needing to be replaced, not to mention the roof, and myriad and sundry other things, I have loved this little house with all of my heart, and I knew from the start that this was where I was supposed to be, and it just fits, like an old pair of slippers that just feels good.
I have been reflecting upon something these last few days. In your own little corner of the world, you can, like I am, with seemingly limited resources, in an older home with it's share of quirks, and not the dream place in New Mexico I'd always hoped to have, find paradise just where you are. Within the boundaries of my own little world the possibilities are limitless. I could go on for the rest of my life creating this paradise. When we have no boundaries we feel lost. A child will test you to the nth degree, but they feel safer within those boundaries than without them, even if they pout and act angry and carry on. And so I am learning how to take this little plot of land that I have found and let my imagination fly as little by little I transform this space into a place filled with love, creativity, peace, always and ever framed by what is sacred and holy in my existence, and working, reaching out to the world, from where I am, a place where big ships fly up out of little creeks, and miracles are abundant everywhere, as God's creatures keep me company, and the silence and solitude provide the nourishment I need to create a ministry of the heart, one of tremendous love, tenderness and compassion for the world, I shall do my work.
I wanted to share these thoughts with you so that perhaps you might see your own world a little differently. Instead of feeling stuck where you are, take what you've got and transform it into your own paradise. Do what you want to do. I think the saddest thing in the world is when people move into a house and leave the entire house white "just in case they might have to sell it one day" and the potential buyers might not like the colors they pick. Phooey. You can always paint it if need be when it comes time to sell it, or surely potential owners can see past color to a wonderful home, and you might end up there twenty years or forever! We are living now! Set yourself free, within the boundaries of your own life, job, and living situation, and within it make all the happiness and joy that you can. And yes, I am a minister, but a minister needn't be all serious and stoic. I believe that we have the capacity to love more when we come from a place of joy. Set spirit free! Let your spirit soar!
One of the most wonderful things I ever saw, and oh, I wish I could remember who it was and see those pictures again, was a woman who lived in an old house and painted the whole, entire house PINK! Then she accented everything in black and white. It was pure whimsy and such a delight you had to laugh when you saw it. In my house every room is painted a different color, even the outsides of the doors match the color of the inside of the rooms, and open onto an aqua hallway. It makes me feel positively gleeful. And with Big Dog Moe, a bevy of little pugs, and a flock of parrots right in the front room, this place is everything I could have hoped for and more. I am itching to get to my book and my fiber work and I am almost at the place where I can.
I bought all old vintage furniture and other than the roof most of the work has been colorful paint and boards. The garden will be grown organically from seeds and I will work with what I have, what I can find, and one day a week will be a scavenger hunt in junk shops and other such mysterious and wonderful places, to find inexpensive surprising things to add to this little home that I am creating.
Every morning after the dogs have been in and out 2 or 3 times and the parrots are up and all have been fed, I make my coffee and build a fire in the fireplace in the "cozy room" and sit sipping my latte and watching the lively fire pop and crackle, the woodsmoke drifting up the chimney. I save the ashes in a metal bucket for the garden once they have gone cold (The roses love the ash.), and I carry things out to the recycling bin as the day goes along, and look out my window at my big ship and can't believe that I am here.
I feel safe now. In this very moment there is a pug asleep on the arm of my chair, lying against me; snores here and there from the other pugs, and Big Moe, and the parrots are silent. I love this time of night. With one little light on beside me it is a time for reflection. I had a long hour or more of meditation and prayer before I began to write after getting the dogs out for the last time and taking a shower, and I love the new essential oil blend that I got when I had a massage this week to work out some of the kinks and aches and stiffness of a body too filled with tension for too long. I hadn't had a massage in so long I couldn't even remember when I'd last had one, and the massage therapist used the most wonderful essential oil blend called "Serenity," a perfect blend of bergamot and vanilla. I bought a small bottle on my way out and just put the tiniest little dabs on after I got out of the shower and love feeling clean and soft and fragrant, in this land of pugs and magic ships and writing late into the night.
I hope you are well wherever you are. Know that I hold you in my heart and think of you often. You are in my prayers and in my dreams. We are all one. I hope that some of the energy of this wonderful little place I am creating, with the help of some wonderful men, will slip past the borders of this landscape out into the world to you. This is my intent. To share, through my writing, what I find, and how we all might find it, and to celebrate with you what you find too.
Amidst all the darkness of the world, we can light one candle where we are, and we can spread the light. Let us try.
Peace, Love, Serenity & Joy...