I was shaken awake this morning to the noise, vibration and quaking of our house. No earthquake, just the demolishing of a house two doors away, something that has been in process for several weeks, though it seems forever. Up next in the queue: street repaving. So construction season is in high gear, up close and personal.
In the midst of the destruction, the death rattle of what has been, we, too, are working our way out of the rootbound pot. Changes in the air, replantings of monumental proportions. We are not yet in the garden of our becoming. Between there and here, much territory still to traverse.
And always it comes back to trying to make sense of things that don’t make sense. Unplanned new acts. Moving from enchantment to enchantment. Pulling up roots, then sinking them deep. All in the midst of human migrations and flows of refugees from fire, war, scales of disasters that boggle the understanding even as our hearts break for the children and families and beloved animals who are fleeing what once was home. They too are between.
At the summer solstice in mid-2010, a different kind of shaking awake happened when I was on retreat. My friend and teacher, Paul, asked, “We’ve been in Shangri-La during this week together. What happens after? What happens when you go home? How can you take Shangri-La with you?”
At its most basic level, frequently many of us find ourselves in the conundrum, the re-entry process from the sacred container of retreat or circle back into everyday life. Family. Work. Taking care of things, rather than being taken care of. Attending to others and putting our dreams away with the name tag and the program.
And beyond just the re-entry issues, almost all of us grapple with the slipping away of the numinous, what we have just co-created and experienced in the circle. The sacred most often vanishes when faced with the continuum of complexities and “everyday-ness” of everyday life.
But I did something different when I awakened under the leafy canopy at Lake Geneva. I made a phone call from the beautiful retreat. As I talked to my Beloved of many years, I allowed myself to be utterly gobsmacked by the rain of blessings that was my life, our home, what was awaiting me on my return.
It was a blinding flash of the obvious, and maybe as close to a burning bush as I’m likely to experience: realizing what a sacred, blessed, and grace-filled life that has convened itself around me. I couldn’t begin to control nor even take credit for all the goodness. I breathed in. I allowed a geyser of joy and appreciation to flow through me, to express itself through the phone.
Like Hemingway, only writing of Paris once he was no longer there, this realization came when I was away from the garden, the Beloved, children, pet, kitchen, the photos, artworks, all the books…I was away.
While the stories of others’ uproot-ment, by choice or not, plays across our screens daily, the whole idea of home is coming into sharp relief. Like so many ideas, this one is up for re-imagining.
My friend and MasterHeart partner, Dawn, suggested we delve into Home as an archetype. Is now the time of its ripening, readying itself for redefinition, another look-see? Delving into “home” in all its permutations, being in a dialogue with the Archetype of Home, these are the next steps, conditions for moving forward.
These are the new challenges of our time, to find home, to define home as shared endeavor in service to the life force of our planet. And from there, to discover and reconnect with the inner home, the Shangri-La within.
When so many are struggling to land in a place that can become “home” in the world, how can we, all together, redefine home in a spacious a joy-filled way? How can we stretch the boundaries and definitions of “home” so that it encompasses life and a regenerative place for all? How can we make home a place where no one and no being is “other?”
This all unfolds for me in the particularity of considering rootedness just in time to release the rootbound life of a long-time home.
Still, something called our name just now. And I am learning slow and fast on a continuum of letting go, releasing, that Shangri-La resides within, is ever-present, all-encompassing, and divinely inspired.
I realize that those of us with the ability to choose have not only blessings, but also are called to give back. For many, there are plenty of more basic issues at stake — like when people don’t have enough to eat, when their children are killed, when there isn’t water to drink, when homes have been destroyed in whatever way the destruction plays out. All are called to home that will look rather different from what went before.
We need to feed the hungry and give shelter to those who don’t have it. And we also need to share the space for a dream for all, and a dream that encompasses us, the plants, animals, and all the sacred interconnections of life on and with the planet, Mother Gaia. We are partners and co-creators together. This is the secret, and love is the key. Love dissolves fear. How and where can you step into love, allowing the fear to dissolve?
What if Shangri-La is portable, like the Paris of Hemingway, and a Moveable Feast?
What if the sacred portals and roots everyone is seeking out there, are really ever-present and available within?
What if… between there and here, we connect in with the deepest part of us, to discover the malleability of the home inside each of us?