Thursday, November 6, 2014

Coming Home is a longing that's particularly strong in me on this gray, wet day. And isn't that the feeling that sent me out into the world on a lifeline search. Find Home. The first time I went looking for something other than the war zone of my parent's home was at the age of six. I ventured several blocks away and found a small avocado tree where I spent the night. Shivering with fear of the monsters that lurked outside its sheltering branches on a road where there were few streetlights and houses were set at distance from each other. There've been many other times in the years since then that I've ventured into the world hoping to find a home away from pain and anger and hopelessness that rise up from the obstacles life throws in my path - many of my own creation. There were the tears from loneliness and want after seeing the happy homes depicted in movies, books and on tv, only to discover they were nothing more than a cruel Hollywood myth. The rage and loss of balance that sent me to a wreck of one room apartment waiting to be renovated. A hotel room on the West Side of I rented during my first job in NYC, which I decorated with small pots of ivy, dried flowers, candles and colorful pillows. This morning, I waded to shore after floundering in my own tempest of self indulgence of helplessness. This time I was afraid I might never walk normally again. You see I've been told I need a knee replacement. The pain keeps me up nights and wakens me before I'm ready to get out of bed. The fears centered around questions like 'what if I didn't find a surgeon my health insurance would cover? What if the surgery went wrong. Would I ever be able to long walks in the country or dive into those adventures I enjoy walking for hours through cities and towns? What if I'll never be abe to do my yoga stretches again? Dance around the living room to pounding rock and roll or salsa, twitching my hips in a way that makes me feel more like a woman? And what if I'm left with a portion of the surgeon's bill that will be a burden for months to come? Without fully using my body, I tire more easily. Other aches and pains emerge. But this morning I arrived home, or at least to the front door. It's open because even if I never walk normally again. If my health starts sliding downhill from lack of exercise, there's still enough time and life to make what's left to me count. To live large with what's at hand. You see, if all those fears manifest into what is, I want to be like the woman I met a few years ago. A retired attorney whose resided in an assisted living facility. Whose bed was covered by books, along with a computer and ten telephones, all of which she used to do pro bono work for people who couldn't afford the services of an attorney. Home for her about compassion. She lived large; creatively and courageously. Thinking of her, I managed to conjure up a place where the door was open. There was a fire inside the fireplace. Fragrant smells coming from a cast iron pot bubbling on the stove top. The one I use for delicious soups, hearty stews and jambalayas. Looking down the mat on the doorstep said Welcome Home.

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