Old trailer like many of those I lived in as a child
I bet many of you lived in a place like this, and you will be able to relate to what I am about to say. My family lived in several places like this; some in trailer parks, some not. But they all shared a smell, especially in the South: cockroach spray. All the places we lived in reeked of the stuff. I can still smell it in my mind. By the time we lived in them in the mid-80s, these places had seen way better days. They often had soft floors around places where water might accumulate, like the toilet, the shower, and the kitchen and bathroom sinks. In one trailer, we had to be careful not to stand too close to the front of the shower because the floor under it was so weak, a 90 pound 11-year-old might go crashing, naked, through the floor on to the ground below. In another place we lived, that actually did happen to my mother, and she had the scars on her right calf to prove it until the day she died.
We didn’t always live in trailers. A few times, we lived in apartments, but those proved to be no better. Another place we lived, an upstairs apartment, had one bedroom that was completely unusable because the previous tenant had had dogs who were kept enclosed in it and there was so much calcified dog poop on the floor that you couldn’t walk anywhere in the room without stepping on it. I got the thankless job of ripping it up out of the bright blue carpet and scrubbing the spots with a bucket of hot, soapy water. It never was a room we could use for anything but storage.
In that same apartment, we could not afford to have the hot water turned on. Bath water was heated on the stove in a large roasting pan and poured into the bathtub. I washed my waist-length hair in icy water from the tap in the kitchen.
Why am I telling you this? So you will understand the week I have had.
My husband and I have gradually improved on my experience of home, but I have never felt that I left it entirely behind. In all the spiritual work I have done, particularly in the last two years, I have moved leaps and bounds beyond the idea that I somehow deserved to be hidden away in unhealthy, ugly places, but my belief has still been put to the test this week.
The home of a very dear friend is coming open for rent in just over a month, and I have loved it from the moment I stepped inside it. There is a magnificent garden attached that she has lovingly, painstakingly restored from a desolate, weed-choked wasteland to an oasis of peace and beauty. I long with everything inside me to take up Guardianship of this place that feels sacred to me. But, I have struggled with finding enough faith in myself – and in the Universe- to seize the opportunity in front of me.
As I went back and forth this week, breaking myself down and remaking myself into a true believer in my own worthiness, all my old memories of home resurfaced, and I have faced them with as much bravery as I could muster.
I wanted to share these thoughts of home with you today because it feels important to me to acknowledge my struggle, for maybe you have struggled with similar growth along your journey, or are struggling now. We can be the support we need for each other.
As I work my way through this period of intense growth, I also feel within me a rising of something I cannot even name yet. I think it may be an entirely new version of myself. I see her as more fully embodied, able to bring the visions in her head down into the Earth to be made manifest in this 3D realm. I see a woman who feels at home in a place that has firm floors, hot water, sacred spaces, and healthy boundaries. I see a woman coming fully into her power.
The part of me that is already the woman I see in my mind’s eye believes that I will be living in this beautiful place that feels like home by the middle of July. The part of me that is still hiding, seeking a place that is clean and bright and whole, is terrified that things won’t come together in time, and I will be forever trapped in places like the ones I grew up in. I hold that child-me in my arms and rock her, whispering that she is safe, she is safe, she is safe.
And as I do, her tears dry, her smile blossoms, and she gets up and runs outside to play in the garden of her dreams.