Gradually I found a more sustainable work path. Part of this sustainability came from continued, deep, and varied inner-work. Once I found a safe space within myself, I could more authentically focus on my surroundings. I finally understood the choices I had--choices about how I spend my time and with whom I spend my time. I surrounded myself with interesting, creative, compassionate people--people who lift me up and fill my soul. (And I stepped away from those who deplete me.) Then I began nesting in my home: painting walls, decorating, making food, creating a comfortable environment for solitude and connection.
Now my house is my favorite place to spend time. And, like everything, it's a work-in-progress. It fits where I am right at this moment, and will change when needed. It's such an alluring daydream-- in which I often indulge--to imagine all my house and yard projects wrapped up--completely finished. But that's not how life works. Just when we think something is wrapped up, another challenge arises--such is the nature of our ever-changing world. Interestingly, though, the in-between stages are often the most rich.
An ode to my beautiful, authentic, work-in-progress house:
What have I gathered?
Colors, plants, handmade gifts,
candles, and soft blankets.
The lingering laughter of friends.
Wildflowers in beer-bottle vases.
Favorite recipes folded and placed
in a smooth wooden box.
I'm surrounded by books,
words, journals, and framed faces
of the ones I love.
I smell warm bread, simmering garlic,
and freshly-cut basil.
I see flours, beans, art supplies,
cookbooks, and rocks tenderly taken
from Caribbean beaches.
My home welcomes stretches of solitude
and gatherings of friends.
There is music--dance, cook,
relax, or listen.
Perhaps Mark will play fiddle.
We'll eat tasty, wholesome food
served in colorful pottery.
Feel free to make a mess.
Feel free to be yourself.
I've gathered trust, forgiveness,
love, and acceptance.
Gently take them from my heart.