Recently I had the good fortune to spend a week near the Boundary Waters with my family. We could see the Milky Way at night and I saw shooting stars for the first time in years. Every morning we began our day with a quick plunge into the lake – the purity of the water so refreshing. Our daughter ran on her own through the trails of camp with a freedom she doesn’t have in the city. It was beautiful, silly, and quiet.
Then we had to come home.
Y’all, it wasn’t pretty.
There is no comforting return to routine. The atmosphere of our cities is thick with the work of metabolizing multi-layered traumas. School is about to start but no one is sure how it’s going to go. The news is deeply troubling. Re-entering this moment after a brief time away intensified my awareness of how heavy it is.
It was like being handed a heavy object by surprise, not holding it properly, and finding myself suddenly, painfully stooped. We started talking about when our next camping trip might be. Where was the relief?
But I love home. I love my house. I love my city. I love Mnisota Makoce, this land where the waters reflect the heavens. I want to want to be here.
Being at home is a spiritual discipline.
Back in March of this year, as the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States, we were all encouraged to “Stay Home.“ We all got pretty cooped up until it warmed up and we figured out how to be together outside. I know many who have essentially been in their homes for months now.
But are we truly at home when we are at home? Are we crawling out of our skin with stir craziness? Are we doing anything and everything to avoid being overcome by our grief and fear? Do we have a sense of what our personal purpose is at this moment?
When I recently asked a group of people where they felt most at home, I was impressed by how few mentioned actual structures. Many mentioned they were most at home among trees, by water, or with people who love them. A few mentioned the early morning hours as being when they felt most at home. (It hadn’t occurred to me that a time of day could be home!)
Home is about where we feel connected and whole. The home that I find when I dance or practice qigong is what keeps me sane. When I feel my cells remember my place in the cosmos my emotions come into balance and I feel strong in my purpose.
What if I ordered you to “Stay at Home in the Universe” for the good of your own health and our collective well-being? What if maintaining this felt experience of profound at-homeness was more important than maintaining any form of business as usual? What if your livelihood and every social interaction was required to be modified in order to nurture this connection with the greater whole?
I believe that if we were all “Staying at Home in the Universe” we’d all be less overwhelmed. Our work of collective grieving, trauma healing, liberation and transformation would be filled with purpose and vision.
The weight of this moment is still heavy. But I believe we can all find ways to strengthen ourselves, shift our posture, and carry our burdens with grace as we walk forward together.
All my love,
Upcoming Workshop: At Home in Oneself
An embodied workshop offered online through Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality. Friday, September 18. Sign me up!