I've been searching for over a year, waiting expectantly to find Home.

 

Actually, I've been looking for home since the day I left an untenable, unsafe home and marriage five years ago.  I also remember occasions as a child when home didn’t fit me, or vice versa: times I feared the anger of others and ran to find safety in a hiding place indoors or out, a place I could release emotions without anyone noticing.

 

I have also known great homes along the way.  I have lived in song-filled community with Catholic Workers.  I have lived in a mountain cabin surrounded by breathtaking and challenging wild country. I have known good love.  Perhaps this explains the relentless search, trying to make things even better than they are, not settling for livelihood or relationships that were good, but not great.

 

For two months, the visioning process for Maplewood Center for Earth & Spirit became a key expression and focus of my search for home.  Although the process did not yield the hoped-for result of forming an intentional cohousing community, it did succeed in turning my vision inside out.  Rather than limiting myself to defining an intentional community as people who live together in homes, the experience prompted me to re-map and see this vision evolving more broadly and organically in the context of a whole neighborhood.

 

Like Arachne the spider, we spin a web of community and connections that extends beyond our home, in order to catch all the sustenance we need.  The web is constantly changing: old strands break and new ones are woven.  Doors open, others close.  And still, we get all we need.

 

I am unsettled, which is also to say that I am not complacent.  I have not and will not stay where I am not safe, or do not feel like I belong.  But here I feel safer, in a community where my heart surges and opens further each new day, at a time and place where I am conscious of wanting to put down roots.  And still a dwelling that feels like "home" eludes me.

 

This I know:  I am contending with the void.  It has been unsettling to sit and wait with it, yet this holy discomfort is far from empty.  I feel sad, but also more attuned, trusting self and Spirit to lead me through this threshold of home and change.  I notice a deeper yearning for a container that can hold all of who I am, where I can feel at peace; I also yearn for the communion with place, Genius loci, that comes with time and rootedness.  I identify more strongly with Mary and all house-less mothers during Advent and beyond.  And feeling the absence of settled home challenges me to also feel the presence, safety and belonging of home in ways other than the physical structure in which I dwell.

 

I am whole.  I am accompanied.  My body and my spirit are enough.

 

I am.

Home.

I am Home.

—Jen S