1. There's No Place Like Home
2. Home is not where you unpack your belongings, it's where you unpack your heart.
In the last nine years, I've been told by three non-connected individuals that I remind them of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Like Dorothy, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to get home. It always felt like if only I had the right shoes or tools/skills/relationships/materials, etc, I could finally get there. The Truth is that I was there all along; I had everything I needed within me. Home is not the location I live in; it is a state of mind and spirit.
3. I am a JOYFUL person.
I moved out here because I thought I needed to learn how to subdue my pain. What I learned was that for years, I'd actually been stifling my joy. In fact, contrary to my belief, most people did not see the sadness in me, but rather the joyfulness just waiting to emerge.
In that merit, I will share a poem that was shared with me on Tuesday. It was written by J. Ruth Gendler in The Book of Qualities.
Joy drinks pure water. She has sat with the dying and attended many births. She denies nothing. She is in love with life, all of it, the sun and the rain and the rainbow. She rides horses at Half Moon Bay under the October moon. She climbs mountains. She sings in the hills. She jumps from the hot spring to the cold stream without hesitation.
Although Joy is spontaneous, she is immensely patient. She does not need to rush. She knows there are obstacles on every path and that every moment is the perfect moment. She is not concerned with success or failure or how to make things permanent.
At times Joy is elusive--she seems to disappear even as we approach her. I see her standing on a ridge covered with oak trees, and suddenly the distance between us feels enormous. I am overwhelmed and wonder if the effort to reach her is worth it. Yet, she waits for us. Her desire to walk with us is as great as our longing to accompany her.
These photos were taken about a decade apart. In the first one, I cried for 45 minutes before the poor, exhausted photographer was somehow able to capture a smile. I don't actually recall when or where the second was taken or even who took it. Now, over a decade after that photo, I'm looking forward to capturing many snapshots of my upcoming celebrations. Nothing at this point can stifle the joyful smile on my face or the amount of gratitude I feel to have had so many incredible people impact my journey thus far.