Reconnecting with the idea of home...
I wrote this after my Italian trip last year, I've been thinking about travel and how things will change for those who need to constantly put one foot in front of the other to truly be calm. I work from home so the only time I ever really switched off was when I got away from it. Otherwise the temptation is too great to be at your screen at 5am or earlier... and here I am! I can't complain at all, I am healthy, my friends and family are healthy, Tiger is 17 and still behaves like a spritely kitten albeit a rather barrelesque one! I'm really very lucky, and as I do work from home, although things are changing with what I can do and what I feel is right to do I have been able to continue to keep the wolves from the door as well as offer my skills where useful. (Apart from sewing button holes onto the wrong side of scrubs and crying over my ineptitude but we won't get into that particular meltdown!) I know others are not as fortunate. So, this was just my reflection on my last really meaningful adventure away from home as it's going to be a very long time before the next and no doubt the world will never be the same but we can find simpler ways of finding adventures inside and outside of ourselves ....
Reconnecting with the idea of home
(written late 2019)
(written late 2019)
I recently got home from a three-week solo adventure. I had been feeling trapped inside a self built cage which I continued to fill to the point there was just no space left in it for me anymore. I had been yearning to escape but forever told myself I couldn't for all sorts of reasons revolving around money, family and time. In the end I just did it, booked a few super cheap hostels and 3 weeks later off I went at the worst possible time of year for someone whose business depends on the run up to Christmas but there is never a right time. Or you could say the right time is always… NOW! As a mother of a child now fully grown I was feeling bereft for those childhood years, as a wife I was feeling disconnected to my partner and as a creative I was feeling stifled and blocked from taking on too much but most of all I felt blue, empty, unsettled and like I needed to rediscover what I felt home was and could be. My aim was to feel settled inside myself and in turn be able to give more of myself to those I love.
Travelling solo is like reconnecting with an old friend. The only friend who knows you from the inside out; you. It’s like being a child. Giving yourself that freedom to stumble around, eat cake for breakfast and lie on the floor upside down for no reason other than to see what it feels like, stomp up mountains huffing and puffing excited for what’s at the top, clamber on rocks and drink wine at lunchtime. The childhood me never did that but the rest… It reminds me of how yoga reconnects you, pulling your body around to see what it can do and where it can take you, how far can you stretch, how big can you open your mouth to do a lion face, how small can you make yourself to feel completely invisible. It’s that total animal exploration and finding your way in the world whilst being completely in the present moment and I loved every second.
How quickly every single place along the way felt like a home, a tiny little bit of it was mine and a tiny bit of me was left there in return. I have collected all of these places inside me and will always hold them dear.
When I was a child I felt homesick all the time, physical butterflies swished around inside me as if my body parts were going to float clean away from each other pulled by a gentle fleet of fluttering creatures. Sometimes I still get twangs of these familiar feelings as an adult. I think it was the nature of having parents in two completely different parts of the world. I never felt that either one was truly home or knew what one nest really felt like because something was always missing. Do you feel like you know what home is?
I gave myself time to travel, draw and write and the biggest thing I have gained from it is that you are your home, inside of you is where your world lies and so it is the bit you have to look after in every way. Give yourself time to clean the insides of you and the outsides will feel that much better too. I have a way to go yet to feel fully emptied but I do at least now feel that it’s within reach and that the cage doors are unlocked and I have the key. The realisation is that we are often more in control than we may think we are and if we step away for a while we can really reconnect with our original selves and remember that home is always with us and it isn’t a place.
(And you don’t have to go as far as climbing a volcano like I did! A small hill or a walk in the woods will do!)