Good news and bad news both! Selling our home this spring and taking to the "open road" as nomads has been a living inquiry into the question of what HOME means to me, in the truest sense. Then suddenly with that one phone call, the question became very immediate and very concrete. Did we or did we not want the HOME? The interruption of this blog resulted from shifting my focus away from the quest for my "True Home" and towards the decision to sign a contract for a place we that we could now own.
My practical side can certainly recognize the value of ownership, a good investment, timing in the housing market, etc. etc. But as for the rest of me - Oh My! I had so recently felt liberated by letting go of possessions - the house, furniture, fixtures, clothes and collectibles and yes, even the enormous quantity of books I had carted from one place to another for years!
Once on the road, as we traveled the scenic roads in Georgia and South Carolina and then along the Blue Ridge Parkway, trees and wildlife were our new neighbors and I felt as expansive as Julie Andrews with arms wide open, singing "The Hills Are Alive..." The thought of another roof and more walls, practical as that might be for a future time, began to elicit some kind of anticipatory anxiety for me. I was afraid I might let my perspective succumb to a mental contraction.
|Thich Nhat Hanh 2009|
|Sunrise Walking Meditation, Stonehill Retreat 2009|
In the rarified ambience of the retreat, I was grateful to have experienced a beautiful place within, beyond the mental limitations of my thoughts and emotions. Now, faced with the prospect of another home in the material sense, I recall the peacefulness of the retreat and strive to center myself again.
Just as a snail carries its home outside itself, I too carry my HOME, but within. Being mindful of that, I begin to ease into my comfort zone again, as I let go of the fear that my external home will entrap me. Knowing that my mindfulness is the ONLY thing over which I have control, I can celebrate this newly purchased property as a shelter to which I can return, a space to host guests, a place to call home. Wherever I come or go, to places strange or familiar, far or near, that I own or not -- I breathe in and out, knowing that my home within can be my only True home.