When I'm home...
...I'm beneath a tree, staring up, watching soft milky clouds float across a blue lake , dipping and dappling and playing in light.
When I'm at home I'm caressing the smooth bark, skimming my hands across the rough knots - feeling the bumps and the black dots and twisty branches and I'm loving all of it. Bird song, fragrant sap, warm sunlight-baked wood - bring my senses home.
When I'm at home I have eyes for my handsome boys, their quirks, their challenges, their minds and their souls - I notice each piece and I love the puzzle of men. I'm at home here, in the chaos and in the strength, in the longing, in the lust...I ride their life beside them, through the roller coaster twists, up the incline and screaming down the decent, happy and scared and my hair flying and my eyes big...sometimes tightly closed - I'm strapped in for good. I'm at home here.
Tucked in his big arms, wrapped around me, his head resting on mine ... my fingers tiptoeing up his arm, feeling the soft hairs, listening to his breath...I'm at home here.
Watching her run, watching her laugh - the little gap between her front teeth, her giggle - I'm at home here. Her concentration, her dedication to a project, her creative soul - I'm at home here.
At home I'm surround my so many blessings - big windows, art made by masters and art made by me. I'm surrounded by books ... novels and quotes and poetry ... little pages stapled together and adorned with rainbows and flowers. I'm at home in this written magical world of realism and fiction and dreaming and wisdom. I lose myself in this spot of my home.
Nothing can bring someone home as much as the smell and taste of food. Familiar food, old recipes, foreign flavors... new. The first time I tasted curry I literally thought "this flavor should be a part of me." I'm happy to report ... it is. That and green tea, fig butter, dates and hummus.
I think some people feel overwhelmed with the option, that they, can develop their homes - the spirit, the song, the atmosphere, the flavor, the overall picture.
I see it as one of my greatest privileges. Granted, I often feel unqualified, or maybe wrong for choosing something different...in the end, it's a space that I've dedicated my life to making wonderful. Now that's something...dedicating your life to making many little parts one single beautiful space, for you and your loved ones' souls.
That's a job.
Home is where I can choose to fly. Behind this door, I'm a dancer, I'm a runner, I'm a vegan chef. I'm a writer, a singer...a holistic therapist, a therapist in general. I'm a creative genius, I'm an essential oil diffusing maniac, I'm a sweat pant lounger and a barefoot skirt wearing enthusiast, I'm the flower child that is deep in my soul ... I can be what I want to be. I can be "Her" - that great elusive "Me."
I can give myself grace, an understanding heart and a listening ear for my mind - I can dive in as deep as I want or take a step back and feel fear for a moment. At home, you can feel.
Last week I ran five miles. I pushed myself. I accomplished my goal and it felt amazing.
Today, I started to run, I got half a mile in and wasn't feeling it at all. My heart said "you are in a creative space, a quiet music, picture taking, writing space." My mind answered back "no, if you push yourself you'll be happy later. You'll be uncomfortable but you can persevere."
So my mind and heart kept wrestling with each other ... one an advocate for quiet and one for perseverance. Then this voice spoke, drowning out either one. It said "you know, you can give yourself grace. You don't have to be the "pusher Alyssa" today. You can say 'I will treat myself with creativity today.' Nobody is watching you, no one cares if you run 45 minutes or 15 minutes, you can 'roll with it'."
Then I did something extraordinary. I looked down at the red blinking light that read "15:00" and I turned the machine off. I hopped off the treadmill and walked, head held high, out of that basement.
I didn't feel "less" or as I had failed myself. I just soaked up the grace and the "rolling with it" spirit and moved on to what my soul craved...soft music, watching my child do a puzzle, editing photos...tea.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John Lubbock,
― John Lubbock,
“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood - finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”
― Jodi Picoult,
― Jodi Picoult,
Home is my place to love my children. The other day, I sat on my floor, cross legged...soft instrumental music playing...I had been trying to connect my heart with God's. You know those times when you seem so alone....and you struggle for days and days, walking around in grey? Well, maybe you don't. I do though. I always know, that this is a time that i have to get quiet or die. That's my motto - " quiet or die."
I'm pretty sure that soul death is just about the worst thing that can happen to man. When you live in a world full of children, as most mother's know...it can be hard to connect to others, to yourself...to God. There is generally a HUGE absence of silence.
It's pretty easy in a chaotic world full of sadness and demands to let it happen - to focus on education and physical fitness and healthy eating...but neglect the soul - it can be easy to do.
*I was stage 2 of soul death. I have been at stage 8 and ,let me say, I've learned to recognize its signs early because stage 8 is not a place you want to live...ever. I think we all have different signs ... and you can only learn yours by being honest with your soul. Taking care of your soul can be a fluid process but sometimes it's abrupt and sharp and painful. Either way, soul care has to be done for sanity and most of all...security. Soul care has to be done for growth.*
So there I was, on my bedroom floor, lavender scent flowing around me, me saying over and over to God "if anything is in me that is not of You, throw it out." I kept this mantra up until tears were flowing and dripping and I kept saying it "if anything is in me that is not of You, throw it out." I said this at least 50 times (this is how I often meditate.) I opened my eyes and as soon as the light hit them a voice said "be a missionary to those kids."
It connected. I'm here, on this world right now, to love on these little beauties. I don't view "missionary" as "indoctrinating" my kids. Rather, to show them love as He is love through the quiet moments, through the hard moments, through the walks in the woods and the rolling down the hills and while baking chocolate cakes. To point my kids to Light, but for it to be in me. When my body needs to stop and be filled to say "Absolutely, I have grace for you." This is what I am. I'm a mom, I'm a wife, I'm a soul with an ever changing body and mind - I'm a human being. This is my field...my meadow.
Watching them stretch, watching them sip smoothies ... colors in the window.
Soft pillows, lemon balm and peppermint, candles and music.
Curry and Cake and Sweet Fruit, as much pasta as I want.
Cool breezes, hawk soaring, squirrel playing, robin chirping
Grace, mercy, kindness, patience, growing, being intentional
All of this, all of these... when I'm home.