Saturday, December 18, 2010

5th Entry of Thanks-Giving & Wonder ~ There's No Place Like Home...

"It's the national addiction: warmth on chilly winter nights, innocence on Saturday afternoons, the essence of the hearth, home, and blissful abandon."
~ Patricia Linden ~
 

 

Blazing night fire and wee little Harvey
asleep on his bed...

Dear Ones,

I have been sidling up to this entry for many days now. Thoughts float like leaves moving fast downstream and just as I am about to catch one it dances off on wispy waves to distant shores. I sit on the bank of my creek and watch them fade from sight. Sometimes we needn't catch something or box it in to appreciate it's importance in our lives. To be touched, for merely a moment, is to be blessed by an unseen grace. I walk back to the house looking the same but forever changed, and so I have been.

It seems impossible to me that it has been, just days ago, one year since my mother died. It is inconceivable, just yesterday, and yet a million miles away. As the weeks moved slowly on after my mother's passing my own life began what would be a tumultuous and amazing journey, a year of so many changes I cannot yet take them all in and yet I know enormous transformation, down to the cellular level, has taken place. At the end of January I bought a house, the first house I had ever purchased on my own at nearly 56 years of age. A cozy home shielded by a thick wood that slopes down to a creek, a perfect place for one woman and ten animals to take up residence. If you had asked me then, even as much as I loved the house I was buying, and how incredibly grateful and delighted I was, I would still perhaps have told you that it was not my "dream home," perhaps a way station. I have longed for decades to live in New Mexico since I stood in mucky mud up to my ankles in my snow boots on a cold winter's day in Taos overlooking the mountains and enormous sky and knew I had found my spiritual home.

What I have learned is that we don't need to move to our spiritual home, the location, mere geography, we need to hold it inside of us, to carry it with us always, and, most importantly, to follow the trail of that passion to it's source, our own Grail Quest. What was it that caused an eruption of spirit in a specific locale? What was I meant to learn there? By the time I am in this house one year it will be 21 years since I stood in Taos, NM, and cried because I didn't want to go home. The longing in me has been so deep all these years that I have broken down in tears, shaken to be torn away from a place that felt so much like home. I have visited New Mexico several times since that initial visit and I always thought that when I had the means I would move there. When the time came I didn't need to. What had shaken me to my core standing on that hillside in Taos now lived inside of me. It had rooted and sprouted and was growing like a beautiful vine through the four chambers of my heart. It has been growing rapidly through this past year and I never realized the significance until tonight.

I had been e-mailing back and forth with my dearest friend and we were talking about funny little dream homes, underground hobbit houses, and, she introduced me to cob houses and I squealed in delight. I love anything earthy and unusual and these are magical little places. And then...

As I was imagining how it would be possible to stuff one big blond woman, four small parrots, one giant parrot, three little pugs and Big Dog Moe into a Hobbit House, I looked around my living room and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz I chanted, "There's no place like home," over and over with increasing wonder, joy, and a kind of peace I have never known.

The fire was blazing and crackling in the fireplace, the room cozy and warm, lit only by one little light next to me here, and the Christmas tree, glowing with blue lights...



The "friendly beasts" were all sleeping around me, the parrots long asleep and the pugs in their various favorite spots snoring in perfect three part harmony. Big Dog Moe sprawled out in the middle of the floor and I sat barely breathing as I took it all in, and then it struck me... I had finally landed! I thought I would be a restless soul, ever wandering, never satisfied, always wanting to be some place else, but I sat here tonight so filled with gratitude tears ran down my cheeks. I almost had to pinch myself to make certain it was real, this feeling of quiet joy and radiant grace all around me. It was real, it is real, there's no place like home.

In Taos I was a restless spirit and the huge sky and mountains were filled with visions of potent possibilities abundant in my life. Everything seemed possible there, but going home put me back into my life and the confines of living in my own skin at that place and time made me feel like I was going under for the last time. It wasn't because of anyone or anything else, it was the unrest inside of me. Tonight I looked around my little cottage in wonder. Home. I am home, and I have been living my way into this house for nearly a year. Whole rooms were filled to the ceiling with boxes and paraphenalia and slowly but surely, and actually quite suddenly, these past couple of months things have been falling into place, coming together, my house was becoming a home and I didn't even realize what was happening.

I stared into the fire for so long I was mesmerized, my eyes slipping out of focus, a river of calm flooding my body. How was this possible I wondered? At peace, not full of depression and angst, a kind of quiet calm and near ecstatic joy came over me. I turned and stared deep into the Christmas tree, now the ornaments barely visible, the ethereal blue light spreading out on the carpet and up the little staircase. How could it be? I was... I am ... happy.

I got up slowly and put the kettle on for tea, opened the cupboard and took out one of my old vintage teapots...




... and my favorite old vintage mug which I simply adore...




... and I made the most delicious tea, a new one from American Tea Room, my new favorite tea company to order from. I first went there some weeks back to find a tea I was longing for, a "Milk Oolong." Oh, it was divine! And I found there what I believe to be the best tea I have ever had, "Brioche." I ordered a few other samples when I ordered more of the two above-mentioned teas and I chose one of the new ones to sip in this space of reverie this night has brought me. Tonight I spooned the leaves into the pot and fairly swooned over the fragrant blend, "Tangier."  (And Oh! what a beautiful tea it is. Click on any of the links to see the beautiful teas and read more about them. I only buy fresh loose teas but some are available in bags.) The description on the package is poetry for the tea lover... "A premium Sri Lankan black tea with apricot and saffron petals that evokes an exotic evening in Tangier." I don't think it's very exotic here and I've surely never been to Tangier but it is a lovely, delicious cup of tea, and sitting here sipping tea by the fire with the Christmas tree lights glowing, a small soft pug snuggled in the chair with me, and the quiet companionship of all of the other animals, well, to me this is bliss.

Home. I am home. I have a place to be me, fully, completely, with no constraints, inhibitions, apologies, or being less than I am to fit someone else's idea of what or who I should be. I am so filled with gratitude, overflowing with thanksgiving, full of tenderness and love that I long to share it with the world.

And so in this time when the world swirls faster than I can take in and the latest, greatest, whatnots are being bought in crushing crowds, I sit here in my cozy little cottage with my tea and feathered and furry companions and I am more blessed than I ever knew it was possible to be.

I will end here and finish my tea while reading, a lovely ending to a magical evening. I hope you can look around you wherever you are and find beauty, peace, and fulfilment in the simple things, for truly, this is where the most beautiful moments will be found, and you, like I, can whisper "There's no place like home," and if you haven't reached this place yet set out on your own Grail Quest. It is there to be had if you believe and never stop moving in the direction of your dreams. It is as Thoreau once wrote, and this has always been one of my favorite quotes...

"I have learned this at least by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."

Yes Mr. Thoreau, you are exactly right.

Warm regards, and may gentle moments trickle softly through your days ...

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

so very true. thanks for giving me a good reminder.

Katherine ( Katie) Corrigan said...

a lovely post enjoy your holiday. Hugs!

Split Rock Ranch said...

Welcome home! Merry Christmas - may your holidays be blessed.

Mizé said...

I´d like to wish you a Merry Christmas. Peace, health and Love :)
Thanks for visiting my blogs.
xx

Lin said...

Merry Christmas, Maitri! It's wonderful to see you so happy again. :)

Mariuca said...

Merry Christmas Maitri, have a blessed holiday with your family and friends, eat plenty, be merry and have fun! :)

EastCoastLife said...

Merry Christmas!

Gibran said...

Merry Christmas...God bless for you.
And happy new year 2011.

Tomas' sketchbook said...

The home discovery joins our hearts. Thank you for the portrait of the roots of love. While reading your post, I visualized - encountered with myself. Greetings from Tomas' sketchbook

Sir Jorge said...

of all the things i wish for in life, i think one of the most prominent is a fire place..oh how i long for a fire place...maybe someday

Marian Love Phillips said...

You are in a beautiful place - where I hope to be one day! Happy New Year!

Dorothy L said...

Happy New Year to you and may 2011 be full of health and good luck~

Francie said...

Reading this post made my heart soar! After years of wishing I was somewhere, anywhere, else, I suddenly realized I was where I most wanted to be, and my circumstances were exactly as I would have them. Home. What a satisfying word! Here I can be my weird and different self, with my weird and different and beloved husband, my 19 cats, my orchids and violets and roses, my music, my closets full of fabric, my wonderful studio with it's view into tomorrow... Thank you for reminding me to always appreciate my good fortune. May you have a most blessed 2011.

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