The path hasn’t always been easy, but it feels like I’m finding the way home now.
I turn the corner into the sun. Down the hill, lemon tree leaning overhead. Her fruit, not yet to be seen. I feel the heat against my skin until suddenly, perfectly, the breeze hits me with a deep inhale of fresh southern air.
It lifts the scent from the leaves of the verbena and sage that sit in my right hand, brushing past the branches that tower overhead.
On home as a City
My relationship with this place has gone through seasons. Seasons of wonder and joy as I discovered it, each detail emerging as another glowing gold thread in a tapestry of meaning I never believed existence to be. Each position of the sun bringing forth new truths, each passing of night providing the rest I needed.
And other seasons, where all I could do was breath and say, this too shall pass.
Seasons where the darkness prevailed, where growth seemed not to be found, though it was there, behind the ochre walls and cracking through the dry clay earth.
In this season, I’ve learnt that both, and all manifestations of this place are to be loved and welcomed. I’ve learnt that just as the darkness prevails it passes, just as the sun sears too hot it cools, and just as the air weighs heavy, the breeze comes.
I’ve learnt to call this place home.
Against what anyone else can tell me of who I am, and where I belong. This city, in this valley under that great hill, is my home. This little house under that blue sky, is where I belong.
On home as the Journey of Motherhood
I wrote about motherhood as I experienced it first.
I wrote that motherhood came like a home that burnt down overnight. A whole world, a life, an identity, lost, in an instant.
I wrote that I stood in front of the burnt hulk wishing that just one more time, I could stand in the hall of that place I once called home, switch off the lights, say goodbye, close the door, and walk silently down the garden path.
Look back one more time at the place I once loved, knowing I was moving on to something better.
Fate wrote me a different story.
It’s taken me some time, but as I look down at my sleeping babe carried upon my chest, I realise that I’ve found a new home. And indeed, it is so much better.
I can still smell the scent that lingered in that old house, but its memory no longer haunts me.
On home as a Place in the Earth
Verbena and Sage.
And every other herb and plant that’s welcomed me to this land. A land I never asked to belong to, a land that took me in, and wouldn’t let me leave.
This earth, its sticky clay, tells me stories in the night.
The perfume rising from the copper pots filled with flowers whispers, “you are home, dear one”.
The orange blossoms in the market, with their delicate white clothes.
The roses singing “this way, friend!”
And I know that I might never belong to the culture that inhabits this world, but to the land and its bounty, my invitation is open.
On home as a State of Mind
Home, has me counting my blessings.
Home, has me cooking all day in the kitchen, garlic in my fingernails and onion skins on the floor.
Home, has me dancing round the courtyard.
Home, has me welcoming the tears that wish to come when they will.
Home, has me quieten the storms in my mind, telling me softly “tomorrow is a new day”.
Home, has me bringing in whoever I can from the storms they face.
Home, has been a change in perspective.