As part of my healing journey this year I find myself returning to the past to confront my anger, loss and regrets. Last weekend I had the chance to revisit my last address before moving to my present home. Like so many these days, what I found there after three years of upheaval no longer resembles what I remember. Those left behind have changed and so have I.
Five years ago, my husband and I moved to a retreat center where we had hopes of living with like-minded people in an environmentally conscious community that honored land recovering from the ravages of agricultural abuse for decades. We wanted to grow organic food and create a safe haven for all beings in a chaotic world. We helped with the retreat center which hosted all kinds of spiritual and healing retreats.
We lived in our own private space but shared close living quarters with other community members. Our understanding was that the community shared other aspects of life as well like chores, tools and contributions. Unfortunately what looked good on paper did not translate well to real life. When egos are involved, misunderstandings and imbalance can quickly develop. We eventually recognized that this wasn’t so much a community but a collection of individuals who held very different ideas about the direction we were headed.
Sadly, my husband and I came to realize that this living situation wasn’t going to work for us, and so we bought a little bungalow in a city we enjoyed and moved away, vowing never to return because it hurt too much. Returning to relive the lost hopes and dreams of a previous life seemed unthinkable three years ago. But then pandemic, illness, death and time’s passage have a way of shifting the focus from past hurts to present challenges.
A dear friend I made while living at the retreat center, one of the few positives from that brief adventure, had a birthday coming up and I was given the chance to return for a celebration. I saw this as another opportunity for healing and accepted the invitation. The weekend turned out to be very enjoyable because I gathered with like-minded people, met new friends, reconnected with those still living at the center and returned to a piece of land that spoke to my heart.
And I happened to visit during a special time when the bluebells were in bloom. There is an enchanted place along the river with more of these fairy ephemerals than I’ve ever seen anywhere else. On a glorious Sunday morning I found myself wandering solo into the middle of a blue-hazed glade with the music of rippling water in my ears, once again falling under its spell. At that moment, I knew for certain that no matter where I live a part of me will always feel at home here.