My husband and I just returned from a refreshing trip to beautiful British Columbia. After living in Los Angeles for almost 29 years, it felt like heaven to see so many green trees, fresh air and Spring blooming everywhere; baby ducks, geese, bunnies, squirrels, and even black bears in the mountains eagerly eating after a long winter hibernation. It’s comforting to see Life returning again after the death of Winter.
We met in these beautiful Northwest surroundings the summer of 1981. We share fond memories of growing up there, meeting each other & falling in love there, among the tall Douglas Fir trees. In fact, we were married in a Northwest Forest in Washington State. No wonder, just the smell of pine & the rich damp soil of the forests somehow brings us home to ourselves again. These forests are so thick you can’t even see the light of day. There is a mystery and a strength the forests hold. It feels like home there to us…….. I didn’t want to leave.
When we landed yesterday at Los Angeles Airport, I complained, “From green to brown and this ugly airport.” I didn’t want to be here 29 years ago either, when we moved here for my husband’s work. Yesterday, I didn’t want to be here again. Yet this is where we have put down deep roots. We grew a huge Forest of Family & Friendships that have weathered many of the storms of Life with us. We have Community here and that means a lot to me, maybe just as much or more than the gentle beauty of the Northwest.
So as I drove the streets of Los Angeles today on my way to visit a dear old friend, I notice the TREES. They are beautiful here too, just different. They speak to me of strength, shelter, and endurance.
And the bright warm sunshine welcomes me back. Ah, sunny California, where I began the second leg of my journey of adulthood: married life and parenthood.
Now another leg of the journey beckons. ~ Our children are grown and soon to fly further from the nest. (Our eldest moves out into his own apartment this summer and our daughter flies to Univ. of Hawaii.) My husband, a recently retired engineer says we are at “maximum transition” in our family. As we enter this new phase of life, I feel a carefree spirit rising within me and a deeper need to give back what I’ve learned to other parents and families.
I’ve been reading Joan Anderson’s book, “The Second Journey, The Road Back to Yourself”. She goes away to the Scottish island of Iona seeking to find answers there. She meets a wise old man in a chapel. He asks her if she’s found what she was looking for. She responds, “I’m afraid I’ve come with too full of an agenda, trying to get too much out of your island in too short of a time.”
“Just be still,” he says, “wherever you are. Iona is no Utopia . . . there is no such thing.
It’s all here,” he says, pointing to his heart.
“Pray, but don’t expect anything,” the old man cautions. “A few minutes with a painting, a sunrise, or even listening to a string quartet will give you more than what you need.”
I strive to live like this, one day at a time, wherever I am.
I remember again ~ my heart is my Home.