“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” – Dorothy Gale, The Wizard of Oz
After 47,250 miles, I have made my way home.
For many years now, my husband and I have divided our time between Minnesota and Arizona. We have made two beautiful, full lives. Our two lives are so distinct, each textured, full and rich but very different from each other. We have marked the passage of time not by the calendar but by events here and by events there, as well as our seasonal commute.
It all began with a five state book tour in 2003 after Wednesdays at the Fluff ‘n’ Fold was first published. Since then, we have traversed the country twenty-seven times, a Powell and Hyde spinning cable car of sorts, albeit more fluid in the route but just as ‘A to B and back’ with equally purposeful pirouettes on each end.
Our migratory pathway has provided a windshield view of the evolution of ten states. We have watched towns grow and (sadly) far too many towns whither, noting the impact of the economy and the elements on the landscape. We have traveled in white knuckle conditions and shared achingly beautiful vistas. The miles in between our two lives have held both long conversations and companionable silence, hours and hours of 70 mile per hour stillness.
I love the commute, especially the psychological commute. Traversing the miles, watching the landscape change with the passing of days, this is my bi-annual reset. As the landscape, colors and architecture change, so does my inner rhythm – recalculating an inner sense of home. A twice yearly 1,700 mile moving meditation.
In our twelve years of travel, I have experienced home in three distinct ways:
– A place I point to on a map and claim as part of me. The acreage that holds deep memories and some of my formative becoming, for better or for worse. At home here I am a thread woven into the fabric of a place and it in me. The place of my people. This is one Home.
– A sense of home that has traveled with me, transplanted in another location. While not the place of my birth, it is where I made a life, delivered there on a fortuitous wind of change. A hearty perennial that took root, first sleeping, then creeping and finally leaping in the way of perennials. Strangers became family and this adopted place became Home.
– And finally, not a place at all, but a return to myself, over and over again, found within a moment of mindful here-and-now. Each inhale and each exhale leading me back from ‘what if’ or ‘what now’, grounding in his moment, fully rooted in my body. Present. Here. Now. This, friends, is also a much-treasured Home.
In life’s coming and going, home can feel illusive, displaced by restlessness, circumstance, hardship or longing. Whether knocked off course by inconvenience or disaster, we can become lost, untethered from solid ground and our sense of place. Far, far from home.
Daily self-care helps me tend and rediscover that deepest sense of home. Yoga, Expression and Spirit – my map, sextant and stars – recalculate my internal GPS, always leading me home. These tools are free and I offer them to you. Pick one and see if you find yourself circling back home.
Yoga – Roll out your yoga mat, listen to your body, breathe fully and very gently stretch. Feel yourself settle back into your flesh and bones, no longer brittle. Supple and fluid.
Expression – Unleash your creativity! Find your palette in your garden, in a hummed or whistled tune, or perhaps in the kitchen. Play! Imagine art class and recess all in one!
Spirit – Sit quietly for a few moments, feeling the ocean of your breath wash in and then out, the tide touching your heart and then rolling outward. Spend a moment ‘at home’ and at one with mystery.
Where has your journey taken you today? Have you ‘gone walk about’ perhaps? Or are you at home?