Yesterday was a homecoming. We left Sedona early in the morning and drove eight hours arriving at Mountain Valley Retreat just as the sun was setting. When we turned the corner at the Salton Sea and headed into the mountains I felt a surge in my heart-space. I announced to my car mates, “These are MY Mountains.” I felt an unexpected sense of belonging to this place I moved to four years ago.
Home. What is this concept of home and what gives me a sense of being home? Home was the Black Hills for most of my life even though I left there when I was 18. I lived in several places before landing in a rural setting on the Mississippi River near St. Louis. It took a lot of conscious work to get myself to accept Brighton, IL as home. I remember sitting in the middle of a medicine wheel I created in my woods and doing a cord cutting ceremony to release myself from the Black Hills so I could become rooted where I was. I had a sense that Spirit wanted me to “bloom where I was planted” even if it wasn’t a place I thought I wanted to be. When my son and daughter were born and I was raising them, they helped me accept the Illinois farm as home.
When they were grown I left and moved into a tiny cabin out in the woods on a lake. It was the first place I had lived that was a singular choice. I was alone for the first time in my life and I was home. The feeling of freedom and expansiveness I felt in that place was unique and exhilarating. I lived there for two years as I mined my soul to discover who I was without the trappings of my marriage and the farm I called home for almost forty years.
I describe the move I made four years ago to California as “falling off the cliff.” I packed my few belongings at the cabin, picked up a few pieces of furniture from the farm and drove to California to this remote place in the mountains northeast of San Diego. I had never spent time here; I had no family near and knew only my childhood friend that was my connection to San Diego. I had no prospects for a job. Once I landed, I now realize I was in a kind of shock state for about a year. I was very reclusive and I wasn’t home, in the language of the Medicine Wheel, I was sitting in the Children’s Fire.
Slowly, over three years’ time, I gathered myself to this piece of land and began to settle. Tiny roots started to find their way into the sandy desert soil and as I began the process of grounding myself I explored my surroundings and found a few kindred spirits living nearby. In late 2012 I decided I was going to stay here and build Mountain Valley Retreat. I made a conscious commitment to be the
steward of this land and create a safe haven for others who are seeking deep connection to the Earth.
When I turned the corner yesterday and looked into these mountains I felt a feeling of deep connection that told me the shift is complete. This is where I belong. This is neither the home of my birth and childhood, nor is it a temporary stop-over on my way to somewhere else. This is where Spirit is telling me to stay. I have made my final landing. I am committed and rooted to this place for the duration. I am Home.