Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Years That Answer


"There are years that ask the question, and there are years that answer."
Zora Neale Hurston

If any of you have been following my blogs and books over the last four years, you know the story of how I came to be living in this place up on the hill in the country. For those of you who haven't, I'll give you the short version.

In March of 1992 I piled my most important possessions into my old car and moved myself up north from the city where I had been living and raising my children for many years. The last chick had left the nest, and the second marriage was ending as well. My father had died in December right before Christmas. I hated my job and yearned for a life of simplicity, authenticity and space to pursue my passion: writing. So I left it all behind and moved near to my sister in a little town on the banks of a lazy little river and lived a Mayberry-like existence for 8 years. I worked at my writing part-time, while also providing PR and marketing support for non-profits and working in offices to keep a roof over my head. It was wonderful and I loved it all. I did have a "dark night of the soul" after I had been there for a while which stemmed from finally having no one and nothing to distract me from facing my demons head on and putting them to rest once and for all. I also discovered gardening and this city girl fell in love with it.

My time in paradise came to an end when two things happened. First, computers and software made it possible for non-profits to do their own newsletters and advertising copy, thus no longer needing my services. Second, the local economy took a hit with plants and businesses closing all over the place. This meant that I had to commute farther for jobs. As I was situated in what is referred to up here as the Syracuse Snow Belt, that commute could sometimes last hours in the winter for a drive that usually took 30 minutes. So, sadly, I packed up and moved closer to where the jobs were, but vowing to return. I even planted a prayer tie, a Native American tradition, on the banks of the river opposite my house so that it would lead me back.

For the next 15 years I worked at various jobs and my writing took a back seat. I never, ever, did not believe that I would not someday return to that little town and, in October of 2014, I did just that. A fall and a fractured hip that required 3 pins to put it back together made my 3rd floor walk-up apartment more than challenging. On a whim my daughter called my old landlords and, low and behold, they had a house 2 miles outside of the town where I had lived before that had a ground floor apartment. I was home. And that is where I dug in and declared that I was never going to leave again. Or so I thought.

The quote at the top of the post reminded me that nothing is forever except love. It also reminded me that sometimes the answers we seek have been there all along, but we had to spend some time living the questions before we could be open to receive the answers. So it was that two things came to me recently. One is an opportunity to take my work in other directions I had not considered, but which would require me to move, and the other is that solitude can be a wonderful thing, but isolation is a punishment, not a gift. I knew coming out of this past summer and into the fall that I needed to be closer to the resources and people that would allow my work to evolve to it's next level, and I needed to be closer to my family. I also received the epiphany that I had needed to come up here to learn: home is an inside job, just like happiness. For years I advised everyone to "bloom where you're planted," but when it came to me, I insisted that it had to be in the soil of my choosing rather than what the Universe had in mind for me. When we are more attached to the outcome than to the journey, we are likely to be disillusioned when we finally reach our destination.

So, my dear readers, next weekend the kitties and I are moving to a sweet little apartment in a sweet location with a view of trees, real sidewalks, birds and squirrels galore from my windows, and close enough that the grandkids can come more often. I will be closer to resources that I need, and people who can help my work to grow. This time, however, the move will be by choice, coming from a place of truth, authenticity and wisdom. Sometimes you just don't know, until you know. Just like Dorothy, I always had the power to go home because I carried it with me in my heart. I just didn't know the way until now

And so it is.

9 comments:

  1. Barb, this is just beautiful. I didn't know your story, so it was a delight to read about your journey, and your search for home and roots, and happiness. I am glad you know that all that is in your heart and will most certainly be with you in your new home. Wishing you love and luck in this new chapter of your story - I can't wait to read about it!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I can't wait to see what is in store for me next. It should make for some great blog posts!

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  2. Barb, I enjoyed reading about your journey. Life is an amazing adventure; and what an adventure you have traversed. Sending you love and blessing on this next chapter in your life.

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  3. Barb, this is Debra Oakland. I did not know your story Barb and I must say...Wow! You are one courageous woman and to you I say, there is no place like home - home is in the heart. Blissed Blessings to you on your new adventure!

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    1. Thank you. I am so ready for the next chapter of this adventure called life.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your story Barb. Yes home is where the heart is and have fun moving and enjoy the light xxx

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  5. What a beautiful piece of writing, Barb! One of your best yet that I've had the pleasure to read. I especially loved when you wrote: "...home is an inside job, just like happiness." Very powerful indeed and a message I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing your story. <3

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