NOTE: Guest Blogger Ellen Antill writes about feeling at home in the world. Those of you who’ve been following my site know that adoption recovery centers around authenticity, acceptance and coming home to oneself. Enjoy this inspiring essay, and please add your comments. What does being “at home” mean to you? -EP
Six years ago I set out on a fresh path in a new town, leaving my husband and the home in suburban Phoenix we’d owned for many years.
For the first two years of my adventure, I felt pretty rootless, like a wanderer, living as a guest or caregiver in other people’s houses.
Then I rented a cozy, peaceful casita in Santa Fe, my “Hobbit House.”
When I finally unpacked my books and dishes and stocked my own refrigerator, I sat on the kitchen floor of the Hobbit House and cried.
What was it that I’d been so hungry for in those two years when I was floating, unmoored in a material sense as well as in my soul?
I longed for a space in which I felt safe and comfortable enough to be myself, where I didn’t need to answer to anyone or ask permission to plant flowers in the back yard.
I dreamed of walking in my front door any time of the day or night and having no one to take care of . . . of being as noisy or as still as I wanted to be.
I yearned to create an uncluttered space in which to write and read and meditate . . . with no interruptions.
I lost myself in imagining the vibrant colors I would paint my walls . . . and felt sublimely content when I pictured the complete absence of TV!
I was absolutely famished for the freedom to invite lots of friends over to cook and eat together, to sing and laugh and tell stories as far into the evening as we wished.
But wait. Let’s go back for a second to me, sitting on the floor, overwhelmed by emotions, unpacking pots and pans in the Hobbit House.
My tears were not simply a sign of relief about having a private physical space again. They were about knowing I’d just taken another step toward claiming my authentic self, the woman I’d envisioned myself becoming before I ever set out on my gypsy quest.
Today I dearly love my Hobbit House. It symbolizes all the expansive learning and growth and transformation I’ve experienced in the last four years. And it still takes my breath away to see how my bedroom comes alive on summer mornings with quivering leaf patterns from the trees outside.
At the same time, I feel ready for more space and light and enough room, at last, for those gatherings of friends and loved ones . . . and a bigger bathroom counter and more than one closet, please!
So I’m calling in a new Santa Fe home, the next space to provide shelter and warmth, a space to be a witness to the changes yet to blossom within me.
When I see the dancing leaf patterns on the walls, I’ll know I’ve found the right place.
Thanks to Ellen Antill for today’s Guest Post!
In her own words…
One of the key reasons Ellen is on the planet is to facilitate the Storytellers process, a personal growth experience she designed 10 years ago for older girls and women. Much of this process is about providing an emotionally safe environment where girls and women – individually or in small groups — can share and embrace their “original stories” and learn to love themselves. Storytellers also supports girls and women in creating vibrant new life stories for their present and future.
Ellen Antill, M.A.
Storytellers: Women Creating New Life Stories