When I think of home, I think of a place where there’s love overflowing…
Home. As a woman with an Aries sun and a Cancer moon, the tension between individuality and the needs and nurture of others is a tension I have wrestled with most of my life. The Cancer moon part of me, however, needs the comfort, security, the raisin d’être that comes from a firm anchoring in what we call home. To the Cancer part of me it is, in a word, everything. Home is not just family, a structure, a city, a country but it certainly includes all of those things. It is a place where I can be myself and be alright. It is a place where I am loved and treasured just because. It is a place where my errors or sins are not counted.It is a place where I can relax, breathe easy, let my pants loose, fart or belch, smell, or even neglect my appearance to look like “10 miles of bad road” (as my mother would say). Whatever the condition, whatever the circumstance, all is well when I am home.
I ran away from home when I was 17. I entered the university, gladly, to escape what I saw as parental oppression and a quashing of my efforts to be my own person. Smothered by a mother who loved me and who only endeavored to protect me from the big bad world, I did not know who I was. It would be many, many years before I would even begin to understand why it was so important that I know. During college I ran away into the arms of a handsome young man and marriage. After college (and divorce), I ran further away, and I kept running. I went from state to state, ostensibly in search of adventure, or a relationship, or a yearning for something I did not know. That unnamed thing drove me despite what appeared to others as wishy-washiness, a lack of purpose, confusion–you name it. I was not to be taken seriously. And, I was to be further worried over.
And if you’re listening, God, please don’t make it hard to know if we should believe the things that we see.Tell me should we run away, should we try and stay, or would it be better just to let things be?
Everywhere I went, everyone I met was worth something, had something worth offering, worth singing about or praising. Everyone counted more than I. I remember the day my friend, Kesho, said to me, “If you don’t take me down from the pedestal you have put me on, we are through!” Her words startled, frightened and moved me to action. At the time, I didn’t understand what she meant, or why she was saying it to me. I hadn’t much awareness and could not see how I had learned to diminish myself. I did not know anything about my real home but her words set me on the path to uncovering and discovering the very depths of the place.
Maybe there’s a chance for me to go back now that I have some direction. I have had my mind spun around in space, and yet, I’ve watched it growing.
I ran for thirty years. As I began to learn what and where home was I was called to return to the place of my childhood. Under the guise of accepting a new job, I returned to my hometown to make peace with the ghosts of my past who had lain in wait that we might have a reckoning, that I might make an accounting of what was true, and to banish the boogeymen from my girlhood nightmares who had come along for the ride. By then my mother and father had left their bodies to move on to who knew what experiences, and I was left to come to peace with all that I had fled so many years earlier.
And I’ve learned that we must look inside our hearts to find a world full of love, like yours, like mine. Like home.
Home feels like happiness, security, love. It encompasses a sense of belonging with my son, my siblings, my extended family, and my friends that adds inestimable value to my life. It includes a sense of well-being, comfort, joy, peace in this world knowing that all my needs are somehow always met. But most of all, it includes a real understanding that there is that deep within me that provides me with true awareness and a deep knowing of who I am, that I am unique and a gift to this life. As I go within to the deepest part of myself, I truly know that these outer effects are but a reflection of what is real and true in the timelessness of my ethereal nature. That is home.
[Excerpted italicized lyrics are from the song, “Home,” from the Broadway play, The Wiz.]
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