Last month I moved into my own apartment for the first time. For the last four years I have wanted my own place, not only because I’m an introvert who needs some solitude to recharge and ground myself, but for creative purposes as well. To create spaces of beauty, openness and peace has been in me for as long as I can remember, and lately it has had me thinking a lot about home.
There is a longing in each of us, I think, for home. For that presence or experience that leaves us feeling safe, secure, comfy and accepted just as we are. Home and belonging feel almost synonymous in a lot of ways. I believe that it’s is a deeply spiritual thing. Not spiritual in the sense that it is detached from the reality of here and now, but it is both/and. It’s a hunger within us that transcends time and space yes, but is also met in tangible ways in our own houses, families, friendships and loves. We taste it around our tables, in our gardens and backyard forests; it beckons us deeper. Maya Angelou writes,
“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
Home is this hearth that we are invited to sit around and be surrounded by, and from its warmth step outside and embrace each other. I have wanted not only my home, but my heart, to be spacious and generous, accepting and warm to those who walk through these doors. I have wanted the presence of these small walls, and meek little chairs to house sacred moments. Where the tables we eat at and the kitchens we cook in, become places of safety and honesty, laughter and lament. I have wanted it because that is where I have felt at home most. Understood, belonging, and able to breathe easy. Our spirituality cannot be detached from place, this is where and how we experience anything and everything in this life.
Whether it’s in solitary spaces, or spaces with one another, we are never really alone. The invitation to come and be at home is like a cold drink on a hot day, refreshing and filled with sustenance for us to keep going. In the words of Ram Dass, “we really are just walking each other home.”
Who do you feel most at home with? Where do you feel that sense of ease, belonging and security? How can you be a hearth for others? How do you foster a sense of home in your relationships? How do you experience home in your own solitude, spirituality and social lives?
Let me leave you with a blessing by the Celtic poet, priest, and philosopher John O’ Donohue:
May this house shelter your life.
When you come in home here,
May all the weight of the world
Fall from your shoulders.
May your heart be tranquil here,
Blessed by peace the world cannot give.
May this home be a lucky place,
Where the graces your life desires
Always find the pathway to your door.
May nothing destructive
Ever cross your threshold.
May this be a safe place
Full of understanding and acceptance,
Where you can be as you are,
Without the need of a mask
Of pretense of image.
May this home be a place of discovery.
Where the possibilities that sleep
In the clay of your soul can emerge
To deepen and refine your vision
For all that is yet to come to birth.
May it be a house of courage,
Where healing and growth are loved,
Where dignity and forgiveness prevail;
A home where patience of spirit is prized,
And the sight of the destination is never lost
Though the journey be difficult and slow.
May there be great delight around this hearth.
May it be a house of welcome
For the broken and diminished.
May you have the eyes to see
That no visitor arrives without a gift
And no guest leaves without a blessing.
I have collaborated with the wonderful Staci Lee Kennelly in some of these writing projects. Please check out her work here:
https://alifedeveloping.org and follow her on Instagram at stacileekennelly