My sister and I had a wonderful heart to heart this past weekend when I was back in NJ. Our relationship has always been a very close one but in recent years it has grown into something quite beautiful. It's a special phenomenon, growing up with a sister; tea parties and firefly catching evolving to coffee dates and long walks, arguments over small childhood jealousies being settled by Mom to hardly-ever-a-disagreement being lovingly discussed to a resolution. To be honest, I only remember one significant "fight" with my sister from my entire life. It ended fairly quickly because it was too unsettling to be even the slightest bit upset with her. It felt unnatural. How wonderful that our relationship was not built to live in any state but a joyous one :) Watching her grow and being an active part of each other's lives has been one of the greatest blessings I've known. We discussed a number of things during our chat on Saturday morning, including what it feels like to mull over regrets and coulda, shoulda, wouldas; how the "what if's" can consume a person in powerful ways. As she spoke honestly about recently losing an important figure in her life I gave my baby sister the only piece of encouragement I could think of in the moment--I told her that she had no reason to be ashamed of grief or regretful of difficult decisions. She had loved big. And when you take that risk of loving big, sometimes you hurt big, too. There is never any shame in that.
After she left I realized that sitting on the couch of a friends apartment (where I had crashed the night before) with her felt just as much like home as when I'm in my kitchen in San Francisco making my grandmother's french toast for friends. It felt just as much like home as when I'm snuggled in bed with my best friend and her new dog, and as much as when I'm out to dinner enjoying the company and sharing life stories with new friends. For me, "home" has always been a vaguely defined place; never quite a tangible, physical location I can point to on a map (because addresses do not always equal a home) but more-so a space of easy breathing and comfortable love. Because of this, my sense of "home" has changed and evolved many times over the years.
I recently read an article by Dennis Farichild about the month of May in the Tarot for 2011. I felt that reading this short piece came at a really perfect time for me as I'm currently putting together my new "home" on Chestnut Street in San Francisco, tying up life loose ends and beginning to spend more time creating. I wanted to share a part of it here;
"For the first time in history, the ancient tarot has been sent to the kitchen: the heart of the home....To tarot, May brings with it the energies of the number Nine for all to dine—the reduced single-digit for May=month #5, when added to the year 2011 becomes 5+2+0+1+1, whose sum total is 9. May's 9-number makes this a month for introspection, squeaky-clean self-exploration. A time of convalescence, contemplation, and rest. To not be lonely when alone...Work- and romance-wise, be tolerant of others' inexperience. If you must act, do so independently, rather than in tandem. Give audience to your inner voice. Come clean with yourself. May's Kitchen Tarot numbers urge you to turn down the noise. Feed the soul. The Dish Soap favors listening, rather than acting. In quiet we find our sanity when the world around us dangerously sputters like a hot unguarded skillet. Prayer, meditation, and house-caring go together this month. When we clean and order our kitchen and home, we are cleaning and ordering ourselves."
When I woke up this morning I had a thought (are you ready for this earth shattering revelation?); Home, for me, is actually no more than a heart full of love. Home is the place of balance between acceptance of myself (including *being* by myself, an often scary notion) and moments of peaceful, easy connection with others. I honestly don't know where I will be living in 2, 3, 4, 10, 20 years. Sometimes I truly feel like a gypsy as I day dream about all the wonderful places I have yet to see and explore. But I am not worried. My home floats easily from state to state, apartment to apartment, east coast to west because my true home...well...it dwells within me. I have the ability to make a home wherever I go so long as I keep on loving big...so long as I continuously return to myself, as myself. And I will never be ashamed of this.
I wish you all the happiest of homes, wherever you may be.