Coming Home

WindandSea

Tim and I woke up this morning and we did not put on our Sunday best, not even in our hearts. After getting annoyed with each other for the 10th time in an hour, we knew we had to get away from Ground Zero. We had to go home to the beach.

We went to Wind and Sea in south La Jolla and got wet. We climbed rocks, breathed in the salty air, listened to the waves and watched the water rolling on shore, over and over again. Our hands brushed and instead of pulling away, our fingers intertwined. Over the minutes, the ticking time bombs lodged in our chests became our beating hearts once again.

I don’t know exactly what it is about the ocean that brings me home, but there is no place on earth where I find such peace, where I find myself inhabiting my own body, my heart and soul. I know the ocean doesn’t work magic on everyone, but everyone has a place that works magic on them.

It could be the beauty of a canyon, the desert, or a lake in the mountains. It might be standing in freshly fallen snow, listening to the rain, or a river go by, or even the smell of the earth and the feel of it in your hands. Everyone finds their own way “home.”

We forget to go where we feel most alive, because we confuse being “alive” with “life.” Life is what we do every day; it’s the simple act of breathing in and out and all the complications that come with it. It’s work and chores, relationships and realities. Being alive is something else entirely. When we are truly alive, we are fully present to ourselves, body and soul. When we are truly living, we aren’t just keeping busy with the smallest details to avoid asking the larger questions.

For my birthday last month, my friend Leighann gave me a journal with one of my favorite quotes on the cover.

Mermaid

“I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” Anais Nin

Life will keep us on the surface. Alive, we want to go deeper. I wish it weren’t quite so easy to simply live our lives.

I’ve spent a lot of time at the beach lately, swimming, paddling, thinking, reading and writing. My car is a mess of sand, seaweed and salt-water stains. My life tells me to clean it up. My heart tells me to leave it be, so it can remind me to get back to living.

Piershot

This week, I hope something does the same for you – an over-reaction, an under-achievement, a dirty car. I hope you remember where you feel most alive and get there if you can. Go early in the morning, or late at night, in the sun, or rain, or in the bright, hot light of day. Breathe in the air that gives life to who you are. Close your eyes and let the smell of your home surround you. Be in that place. Be in your body. You might laugh or cry; going home will do that to you, especially if it’s been a while.

I want to leave you with a poem by Jane Hooper.


“Please Come Home”

Please come home.
Please come home.
Find the place where your feet know where to walk
And follow your own trail home.

Please come home.
Please come home into your own body,
Your own vessel, your own earth.
Please come home into each and every cell,
And fully into the space that surrounds you…

Please come home.
Please come home to trusting yourself,
And your instincts and your ways and your knowings,
And even the particular quirks of your personality.

Please come home.
Please come home and once you are firmly there,
Please stay home awhile and come to a deep rest within.
Please treasure your home. Please love and embrace your home.
Please get a deep, deep sense of what it’s like to be truly home.

Please come home.Please come home.
And when you’re really, really ready,
And there’s a detectable urge on the outbreath, then please come out.

Please come home and please come forward.
Please express who you are to us, and please trust us
To see you and hear you and touch you
And recognize you as best we can.

Please come home.Please come home and let us know
All the nooks and crannies that are calling to be seen.
Please come home, and let us know the More
That is there that wants to come out.

Please come home.Please come home
For you belong here now.You belong among us.
Please inhabit your place fully so we can learn from you,
From your voice and your ways and your presence.

Please come home.Please come home.
And when you feel yourself home, please welcome us too,
For we too forget that we belong and are welcome,
And that we are called to express fully who we are.

Please come home.Please come home.
You and you and you and me.

Please come home.Please come home.
Thank you, Earth, for welcoming us.
And thank you touch of eyes and ears and skin,
Touch of love for welcoming us.

May we wake up and remember who we truly are.

Please come home.
Please come home.
Please come home.


photo 3I hope you’ll share your homecoming with me here, or on Facebook. They are my favorite stories. Where will you find home this week and how does it feel to be alive?

 

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10 thoughts on “Coming Home

  1. Pam and I just got back from seeing “The Judge”.
    I opened your email and it was amazing. You said more to my heart than the movie did in two and a half hours. And I thought the movie was good and said a lot.
    I love what you do with your thoughtful and creative side. Your home when you are writing!

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  2. Good Monday Ali! what a beautifully written blog on coming home. I loved reading it and experiencing it through your eyes. Frequently when I feel the need to go home to my New England roots or just the need to connect my heart to something greater than Gretchen, I too head over to South LaJolla to the grassy area. It is a shot in the arm, the smell and sight of the ocean is better than any medication, it is my medication of choice. I know that I am alive and happy after about an hour. Thank you for sharing, I feel just as you do, and I loved, loved your thoughts this morning. Wishing you a beautiful week, love you and your wonderful family!

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      1. Alaska has my residency, but CA has my heart. Laguna, Paradise Cove, Pismo, Big Sur … Hard to go wrong! I’ve recently read some studies about how the actual chemistry (air, water, sand) brings healing to the body. Am fascinated by it all.

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  3. Great read. Ed and I were in NY at that time. Everyone was so nice and friendly. Then Fear seemed to take over. Thanks Janet

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