Yesterday was a big day with different flavors of bigness taking turns showing themselves from the moment I woke up.
The house was going to get finished.
I could tell my contractor was intent on having his guys walk out by nighttime and take their tools away. I could tell he was also intent on doing it well and leaving no details unturned.
On my end, it translated to trips to the paint store (I somehow chose the wrong paint last week), a three-hour round trip to the city to pick up materials, and coming home to cook lunch for two of the guys who hadn't eaten, waiting for the windows and door people who didn't show up - and more.
There was a "we're getting this done today" energy and I was going to do whatever I could to support it. To me, that also included baking a key lime pie for the guys to take home.
At the very last minute, in the dark, it was noticed that two things got overlooked and instead of letting them be, freshly cleaned tools came out to play again, and with patience, focus, and good mood, they got done. It was 8:00 on a Saturday night, at the end of a long week of work.
By the time I drove them to their place a mile or so away, the house was 99.8% done. There are about five more little things that they will do next week I believe. Then the door and windows people, a potential change of water heater by a new plumber, and a long list of stuff that I need to do myself, including spreading a whole lot of gravel. Then, I'm guessing there will always be projects, which is fun.
But last night I went to bed knowing that for the first time in weeks, I was going to have the house to myself when I woke up. As much as it's been a sweet routine to share my mornings and days with the creative energy and company of the guys, I am really ready to BE here, to be in my home, not in a construction site.
I could feel the shift, it was palpable and it asked for my attention.
I curled up on the couch, Lila and Tiji by my side and I let myself truly be home for the first time.
It has been nine months, almost to the day, since we broke ground.
February 25th. A day after Russia invaded Ukraine (it's an odd fact and when I think about the tough days of my house journey, this odd fact always puts me back in gratitude perspective) and besides raising my children it has been my biggest life lesson.
So yes, on the soft purple couch, feeling it all. Allowing myself to truly move in.
In the morning I would clean up the yard, adjust a few things, and BE here.
And then, Creativity gave a tiny little knock on the door.
It whispered "Banana leaves." Followed by a very specific mind image.
Oooooooooh. Yes. I see. I see and I like what I see.
Banana leaves, these ever-changing beauties that caught my heart the day I moved into the tiny jungly-garden in the village almost two years ago. They enchant me, delight me and I love having many of them in my yard.
Creativity showed me a mind-image me how delightful it would be to paint some lighter pink colored Banana Leaves on the casita's one soft pink side wall. I saw it and I loved it. And I would do it.
YES and thank you.
To bed I went, looked up a few images of Banana Leaves designs, and fell asleep.
Before the sky turned light this morning I was walking around the yard and into the casita.
"No one is coming to work on the house today." These words felt like a soothing massage.
That's when I saw it.
On the back wall of the casita, pretty much exactly the way I had seen it in my mind, just on a different wall, the shadows. The perfect Banana Leaves shadows.
I stared at them, took them in, knowing they would go away as soon as the sun rose over the jungle mountain. I felt that maybe they would even go away if I touched them. But they didn't. I caressed them carefully and they stayed right there.
"My" idea. My Banana Leaves shadow. Hours after I had been gifted the sweet inspiration, the sweet assignment.
It was like a collaboration, a partnership. It was so special. It was a quiet, magical welcome home Gift.
But there was another Gift. The biggest Gift.
The water treatment plant.
Days before buying the land, I had asked what that strange white building was, in the back of the big field. It didn't look like a home but also, it didn't look like anything else I could recognize. I was told that it was the water treatment plant, one of two in the village and that it was closed indefinitely and would only re-open if it got fixed, as it had been malfunctioning.
I was concerned about noise and the neighbors assured me that no, it had never made much noise at all. Good. White noise drives me crazy. I bought the land.
Weeks later, the water treatment plant re-opened and I have been at war with it ever since. Physical war when it spilled black water way close to my home last spring (this was one heck of a hard week) and psychologically because pretty much every day since, I have wished it would just go away. I am at war with the way it makes the air smell twice a day, I am at war with the way it looks and I am certainly at war with the way its lights don't turn off at night. I want it to go away, as immature as it sounds.
Then this morning, The Banana Leaves shadows. In the darkness of the very early morning, in the quiet of the jungle, in my first morning truly at home, my feet on the beautiful hand-made clay titles, the water treatment plant sent me a white flag. After months and months of me fighting with it and calling it names and wishing for its disappearance, it picked up a magical brush and created a graceful, precise, and ephemeral rendition of my vision. It partnered with me. It showed me ... something which I am still allowing in all the way. Its bright lights, the ones I have been complaining about, they were making Beauty. Quietly, Whether someone was looking or not.
It said: "You think I'm so ugly. But look. Look what I can do. I can do beauty, too. Just like you."
What happens next, I don't know. But I know that this morning, my most unlikely, unappreciated neighbor has brought me a welcome home Gift. That's probably all I need to know for today.
As I walked out of the casita I saw that just for good measure, in case I had missed it the first time, another extraordinary impermanent artwork was gently resting on the outside wall.