New Home


I think of home all the time which makes sense because I live in the house I grew up in, across the street from my mother. My father moved 15 times before I left for college and has lost two homes in the past year. He now lives in the sort of home he used to visit as a social worker. He is folding himself around the unlikely edges and it is beginning to fit.

They say as a Cancer, I carry my home on my back. I've made homes in the bowels of cruise ships, log cabins, and tool sheds. For the last two weeks I made a home for myself in San Miguel de Allende, a city that claims the heart of Mexico. It’s easy to make a home in a sun-filled loft with gardens and a rooftop a stunning view of the city. It’s easy to fall in love with a place where you don’t do laundry or administration or have to run out to the street in your bathrobe on trash day. It’s easy to fall in love with a city where you are free to wander and roam and take cabs to spas and buy beautiful things from people who made them by hand on the street. It’s not easy to integrate such spectacular heights into the seemingly fixed dimensions of everyday life.

During a session with a spiritual guide in San Miguel I saw myself pass through a canyon, a jungle, and the outer reaches of outer space before trying to make my way back home. But it was impossible. I'd spread out too far. There was a huge cloud of light around me that I could not squish between old walls. Returning home was like trying to squeeze into clothing that no longer fit. A woman trying on the dress of girlhood.

It was the same unnerving and painful realization that had settled in by degree as my plane touched down, as I stared in the faces of strangers, as I rode the red horse that kept appearing in my dreams. Words no longer matter to me more than anything else. In fact, just about everything else matters more. I told my guide that words were no longer enough, that my body couldn’t contain the avalanche of emotions coursing through it. He looked at me with calm, strength, and certainty. This is your new work, he said. And I believed him. Finding a new home in the old house, in the old body. I don’t know quite what it looks like, but I accept the offer.

Valley HaggardComment