Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Home Remains My Sanctuary

Home is where the heart is, there is no place like home, home for the holidays, home is one of my favorite four-letter words, right behind the word:  L O V E.  However you say it, home, casa, abode, dwelling or shelter, it resonates deeply with everyone as the place where we feel safe and protected.  Lately, home is where we live, work virtually and play, in addition to exercise, garden, eat, sleep, create, invent, grow, and thrive.  Home is where we begin each day with limitless possibilities and where we end each day with thanks and gratitude.



On D-Day, June 6, 2020, we celebrated and remembered the life of my father-in-law, Jack Jones, who parachuted 76 years ago behind enemy lines at Normandy.  His squadron was on a mission to land deep behind and penetrate the enemy’s line of defense. 
He and his fellow soldiers did not have cold weather clothing and had to endure a harsh winter later that year.  With Memorial Day just remembered last month, we wanted to celebrate the sacrifices that the 101st Airborne Division as well as all the armed forces made for our country. I had the privilege of meeting him and being welcomed into his family.  His medal of bravery is a reminder of his courage.



His mid-west home was warm and inviting and always filled with family of all ages delighting each other’s company. His quiet strength, courage and service to our country made it possible for me to exist today.  He represented the commitment to freedom that is still remembered and appreciated.  He, along with my father, stepfather, aunts and uncles, brother, cousins, and dear friends have my deepest appreciation for protecting us through so many conflicts.  These brave souls made it possible for me to breathe the sweet breath of freedom.

My home where I rest my head each night sits on original ancestral land of indigenous tribes who inhabited these abundant hunting grounds for centuries.  Over a hundred years ago, this location eventually became part of a California Rancho where thousands of vineyards were planted.  Sometimes I wonder if my home sits on one of the ancient vineyards planted here or on one of the many villages of my Tribal brothers and sisters from long ago.  I take great enjoyment in working with my hands in the same soil that they touched and tending to my organic veggie gardens while I channel the voices of my ancestors who lived here for centuries.   To help me connect with my ancestors, I erected a tee pee as a place for their spirits to visit.  I appreciate this opportunity to slow down and notice all the life that thrives there. 



My meditation here never disappoints and always fills my heart with peace and tranquility and has become a treasured part of my daily routine.  This hand sculpted retreat/sanctuary sits outside my back door and is where I gravitate to help me solve problems, think things through, forgive, discover, and heal.  Friends and family who are always welcome here have lovingly called this backyard retreat a “park” that they like to return to.  Whether I am watering the garden or pulling weeds, the many hummingbirds visit me while I fill the fountain and I also like seeing the dozens of lizards who scurry around looking for food.  The scents of bay laurel, rosemary, orange blossoms, mint and lavender remind me to stop and glance up at the mountains that continually keep me grounded to Mother Earth.  The quiet stillness invites me to nap in the hammock while listening to the nearby fountain.  If I am lucky, my day is complete when “Freddie” the Falcon stops by for a bath and a drink of water out of our fountain.  My sanctuary is the quiet space that I count on to inspire me to create my succulent wreaths.

Mental wellness and physical wellness go hand in hand, if you take care of one, naturally the other will benefit.  Taking the time to breathe deeply while I reflect on the stillness, rejuvenates my spirit, and heals my soul.  Nurturing this oasis of lush plants is not only my exercise, it has become my passion.  Who knew pulling weeds could slow down the world and let the healing power of a gentle breeze quiet my mind?  The creative energy of working together with my husband on the transformation of our garden has been the best part of this shared experience.  This do-it-yourself, labor intensive, physically strenuous design project, has produced a lush space to gather with friends, bird watch, read a book, walk through the tee pee, take a nap in the hammock, daydream, grow a thought or listen to the stillness.  This treasured retreat is the perfect place to meditate in whatever form you desire. 



How do you quiet your busy life, we would like to hear your story, leave your comments below?

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