What does `home’ mean to you? For me, it has several levels of meaning. In this moment, however, I do feel a bit like Dorothy, who travelled from the dream world of the Land of Oz to wake up safely home again in her farmhouse bedroom, surrounded by loving family faces.
My journey through the past several weeks took me to a magical place, but one located on this earthly realm, namely, Hollyhock, British Columbia. That five-day experience was book-ended by cycles of palliative care and attendance at a Toronto funeral last Monday after an overnight flight. Arriving at my farmhouse a few days ago, friendly faces include the supportive neighbours across the road.
Indeed, upon arriving home, the first order of business was baking home-made cookies to deliver to these neighbours, with whom I enjoyed a cup of tea and shared stories. I am the fish out of water in this farming community, the artist/writer/filmmaker, workshop presenter and educator, who works where she can find it. Regardless, I have earned my closest neighbours’ respect for toughing it out here as a former lifelong city gal.
Doing so absolutely has brought immeasurable fulfillment and joy into my life. Some people may chuckle, but mowing a quarter acre of grass, and bagging it, under a full moon in June last year is one of the memorable and exhilarating experiences to date. Such laborious responsibilities have reinforced a life with purpose, bestowed much-needed inner peace, awakened capabilities previously untapped, and invigorated me holistically.
This place of belonging takes care of my soul while, in turn, I cherish taking care of my home and the land. Here I may be repeating somewhat the theme of one of my early blogs last December. Nevertheless, something worth saying bears repeating.
My humble countryside domain is a sanctuary in a wider world experiencing so much turmoil added to which are relentless, accelerated rates of change triggering immense human stress. Immersing oneself in a natural setting genuinely defuses such stress.
I consider my yellow brick farmhouse to be a living entity, which means `energetically alive.’ It is a century-old building made of organic matter. With this perspective, accordingly, I have viewed the heating and plumbing repairs (albeit initially unforeseen) not just as necessary yet, moreover, as respectful care-giving by me to heal and restore the energetic wellness of this shelter.
Also, there is the `property,’ a two-acre severance, on which stands a modest barn and a brick garage/workshop, with two pastures. Again, this land is not merely `property’ to me, but instead a plot of earth with which I have made a sacred covenant to take care of, and open my heart and mind to the teachings it offers, accompanied by all the creatures that live on it, underground, nesting above, and passing through. The world of Nature is a never-ending source of life lessons.
I write of my home-coming as a way to ground myself, following more than a month of experiencing intensity, from comforting a friend in his final days to immersing myself within a new circle of fellow change agents at Hollyhock’s 2012 Social Change Institute (SCI). At SCI, we shared and strengthened our knowledge, insights and skills, to go forth and contribute transformative approaches as servers to the human family and for planetary wellness, in the pursuit of ensuring a world worth living in. (Later summer blogs will elaborate on various SCI highlights.)
So, at this interlude, between the past and the future, I focus on being gentle with myself in the present moment, as I internalize the depth and breadth of recent experiences. When any of us have encountered such intensity, important to recognize is that it is okay to focus on self-care and time out, to regenerate one’s energy.
I give thanks to Spirit regularly, for bringing me here to a place of beauty, soul healing and serendipitous delights. Will I need to coax another curious chipmunk out the door of my living room onto the patio? When will I be rescuing more frogs and salamanders in my cellar, to relocate them outdoors? Do rabbits still inhabit their former winter home under my juniper bushes? All these tiny creatures are among my neighbours, each of whom has a life-affirming purpose in this bio-region.
Dusk is falling, as I look out my home office window to the grass that needs cutting. Unlike the city, here I can breathe the air with ease, see the stars across an open sky at night, as well as be acutely aware of the water, the soil and its vital minerals, plant and animal (land and marine) life, and uncontaminated air, that all sustain human life.
May I be guided to help my fellow human beings, through awakening more folks to an attitude of gratefulness and the possibility of restorative practices, environmentally and in personal health and relationships, every day. Together we can heal the earth for the well being of children today and in the future, based on the recognition that all planetary life is sacred.