Monday, October 21, 2013

Home (#31 days of Sanctuary day 21)

They say that you can't go home again, but sometimes you have to.  I spent most of my life trying to work myself out of a hometown that felt too small, too closed-minded to truly be a sanctuary for someone who wanted freedom, who wanted something different.  And now I'm pulled back, caught in the tension between caring for my children and caring for my mom and grandmother.  I'm no hero, and I have a pretty poor sense of responsibility and connection.  If anything, I might be a lousy martyr for complaining about what I have to take care of.  But I know in my heart that it was my original family's love, support, and pride that allowed me to leave the nest and soar.  It's the same love and devotion that calls me back.

The town still feels the same, if not even more desolate as the remaining businesses start to shut down.  There are more "check into cash" quick fix loan shops and stores selling disability equipment.  The only places that seem bustling are the doctors offices and social services vendors that we visit.  My family's gratitude shames me.  I'm doing little more than a quick visit, something that should be commonplace, but sadly is not.  There are just too many walls that have been built between us, too many boundaries to keep me from moving closer.

My grandmother has made us lunch for the first time in forever.  She, once our family cook, gatherer of family meals and holder of traditions, has been too unwell for too long.  But she has made an effort for me and has spread the table.  I don't have time (don't make time) to stay, but she fixes me a plate for the road.  I take a bite on the way back and it tastes like love and the memory of so many times around the table.

I rush back to my now home, just in time for a yoga class.  We are outdoors on a lovely fall day, and the instructor tells us to ground our feet in the earth, to feel at home.  As we plant ourselves on the soil, she says, "Be okay with where you've landed instead of wishing you could be another way."  I think of the truth of that, and wish I had had that wisdom years ago, and am still trying to grasp it as I lean forward, faltering to find my balance.  I'm still caught in the tension of finding my home, one foot grounded in the present, with another toe in the past.

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