Making Our Way Home

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At the end of last week, as the temperature began to dive and the wind and rain reared up, I stuck a few seedlings in the garden: leeks, parsley, broccoli, and lettuce. The leeks and parsley came from a friend in town who had more than she needed. And I bought the broccoli and lettuce from Wayside Farm in North Sandwich.

But that was it for gardening this week. I got a call last week from a friend in Vermont letting me know that a neighbor, and man I’d helped care for over the past few years, had died.  He was ninety four years old.  He died asleep in his wife’s arms.  So I stuck the seedlings in the ground and I headed for Vermont. I’d been planning a trip for this week, but I didn’t want to wait to visit my friend, whose husband of 69 years, had passed away.

I was born and grew up east of the Connecticut River, but then at the age of nineteen I moved over to the west side of the river in Vermont and lived there for the past fourteen years, until I moved back below the White Mountains this past fall.  The move was one of necessity, a need for help and support from family, a very good move, but I left a lot of my heart on the west side of the river.

Over the years as I’ve come more and more into the body of my being, into knowing the presence of the moment, I’ve discovered how much of what we long for in a place called “home” is right here where we are. I honor this home.  And I’ve also discovered as I tune in to the particulars of this life, and this body, that it extends out from presence into place.  That the body goes beyond our toes and fingertips into the landscape.   When I was out in California this late winter and early spring, I was enamored of its beauty and vastness, but my body didn’t feel at home.  It didn’t feel the rest it knows in its own New England landscape.

It is worth listening to the places where we live, to how the instrument of our body sounds in the particular hills, valleys, towns, and cities where we are and to notice what we love, what brings us peace and joy, what views broaden us and what views diminish us.  Just for the sake of curiosity, learning, and discovery. We don’t necessarily have to do anything about it, which is what I keep reminding myself as my mind tries to pin down a place to call home and struggles to be present with all my homes on both sides of the river that nourish, feed, and sustain me.  May we all find home where we are, on the way, and in the end.

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing – to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from – my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”
- C.S. Lewis

Speaking of being fed and sustained, two of my friends, Anne Connor and Ginny Sassaman, offer Soul Creativity Retreats.  Week-long retreats to deepen and spark your creative lives with a small group in a beautiful place. The next retreat is in September on Mount Desert Island in Maine. If you are interested in learning more about the retreat send Ginny an email and she will send you a packet of information:

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