Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Feeling of Home

When I arrived in Charlottesville, I felt I was home. I grew up here and the Blue Ridge has always represented home to me. Now, three months later, I am realizing more about the felt sense of home. I am a somatic specialist trained to track sensations in myself and others. I am aware now that it takes time to "feel" at home. There is the sense of being in a place that registers in my bones. I become more aware of my own structure as I relate to those structures around me.

Watching our new home take shape before my eyes is an experience I have never had, not from scratch, much less a whole community of trees, plants, people, houses, businesses. I have built additions and renovated old spaces. There is a wonderment about it. I want that feeling of being at home, the familiarity of my own space and the ache that comes with not being there. If this ache had a sound it would be a creaky door or step. Out on the land, I feel held and received. There is this pressure on my back that feels comforting and an openness to the front that says I am supported there. Yet, I crave the rhythm and the flow of knowing and being in a place, of being able to greet the same trees and the same people everyday, and the familiarity of my own territory.

When I decided to move to Virginia, another tracker said something like this to me: "Get used to where you are on the landscape (meaning, find yourself a home), and remember that sometimes it will be shady and sometimes it will be sunny. You can move into the sun and then chase the sunny spots as the sun moves over the land, or you can just get used to the shady spots and remember that no matter where you go, sometimes it will be sunny and sometimes it will be shady." Meaning: Sometimes life is good and sometimes life is not so good. Get used to it.

He was right, and Vermont was not where I wanted to be. Here, now, I know this is right. I travel a lot in my work, going in and out of communities in lots of neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. and other cities. I know this design and concept is right for me. I feel it in my bones, a firm but elastic supportive structure. I can't wait to move in.

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