My friend Christi just left bound for an adventure again; this time driving “poky” the truck she created and pulling a trailer home. She’s in search of a new place to live, and I felt her pull away, even though I was inside, and didn’t watch. A bond of strong love unites us, at least that’s what I tell myself at the thought we actually might end up living apart.
The little trailer home she’s pulling was my home too, after she lived in it. I’d finished almost a year of immersion in recovery, living with my Healing House sisters, and I was feeling the stirrings of change. I wanted my place again, but was terrified to leave the comfort of the community. Pretty strange being so scared you say; especially for a well-educated and well-traveled independent woman like me. I was new in the world though, and, I wasn’t sure how to behave. I knew I had to move on, because a greater work was calling me, again. I had no idea what it was, but I knew how it felt. It was love.
So, I went to a Catholic Church, lit some candles, and said a prayer to Jesus and Mary. Mind you, I really knew little about prayer, or why I felt pulled into a Catholic Sanctuary and had the courage to even ask for anything from them. Something had started within me ten years before that, and it involved this writing. I had waited for a year to see if it came back because I needed to heal some things first. My moving on was a wish to finish writing the book that had started back then, even though I hadn’t a clue how to write, or the supplies to live alone, let alone write a book. But, the next day, everything lined up. Christi offered me her tiny trailer and told me it was her favorite abode, ever. It taught her to live simply, to take only what she needed, because there was no space for extra stuff. It had well-defined physical boundaries to protect one from the awkward reality of creating boundaries in physical relationships. And, it had really cool bike art, surround sound and some awesome neighbors. Once inside it, I fell in love, and forgot all about the fact that I had made fun of trailers all my life. I loved living there like no other place because I began to know myself for the first time in my life. I felt safe, connected yet independent, and “enough”. There wasn’t a day that I wished for something I didn’t have. There were plenty of days that made me laugh out loud, like the time my air conditioner stopped working and I came home to melted candle wax everywhere. Or, the time I couldn’t figure out where an awful smell was coming from, until I stepped out in high heels to a moving maggot sidewalk. There was a dead cat under my trailer. The 85-year-old owner drove down on his John Deere Tractor and removed it, covering the ground in lye. “Honey, don’t wait so long to ask next time,” he said, as he drove away with the cat in his bag.
I grew up in a house that didn’t feel like a home in those ways. I didn’t realize that my aversion to owning a home had anything to do with the painful lack of intimacy in my own as a child. I lived on the move, so to speak, in search of something elusive, that would change the way I felt. When I got married in 2000 to a man with 5 children, we bought a home, and it was a painfully disastrous experience. His children were traumatized by many things, and I was not able to adjust to the emotional chaos. It was the most painful time of my life, and I thought I’d never live in a house again. Poor houses, it wasn’t their fault. I was in search of a home.
I have found that home, right inside my being, and I have never felt more complete, or happy. I’m not sure where I am going to live, but I have finally found my home.
God’s love is astonishingly gentle and simple. Perhaps that’s why I could finally realize it; in my heart, the place I last looked.
I don’t judge people with beautiful or multiple homes, but I no longer envy them either. For years I felt deficient, even delinquent, for not wanting one. Even my voir dire of a prospective jury included whether someone owned or rented a home. Owning a home meant that you were more responsible, and could be trusted to make good decisions.
I am responsible. I am awake and alive. I am happy and healthy too, and will take that way of being as my home, any day. I’ve found everything I need and want. Now, I’m ready to live in a cool place.
Here’s Lifehouse with Everything. Please give it a listen; you’ll understand how I feel.