(I think this may be the longest time I have stayed without writing in two decades)
Nine weeks ago, I was moving out of a sweet little casita I had been renting on and off for a year and a half and bringing everything I owned in Mexico to my house, the one that was getting built a few minutes away, in the countryside.
Casa Sama, which has in turns delighted me and brought me to my knees since we broke ground on Feb 25.
I had yet to spend a night within its stucco walls, and that would not happen until I returned from the US in the fall.
A few carloads through the village and across three river beds, handing the key to the crew who would finish it in my absence (ojala) and pretty soon it was time to get on the plane, Tiji and Lila in their respective carriers.
As always when leaving Mexico my heart was squeezed. I didn't really want to go. I would not be gone long. I would be right back. A few days before, I had been walking around an outdoor market with a friend and only stopped buying bags of lychees and mangoes when I ran out of hands to carry them.
Eventually, the three of us were on the plane on our way across the border and towards the task I had given myself for the summer: to sell my sweet little 1930s cottage. It was time. I had loved it for almost a decade and probably always would. But I no longer wanted the pressure of a mortgage. My life has shifted a lot in the last year and a half of living so simply. My relationship with time and money had morphed quietly but solidly. It was time.
The way I felt walking into my home that night surprised me.
THINGS. My things. Everywhere. On the walls, the floor, the bookshelves. They all welcomed me (and my furry girls) with colorful open arms and held me there, rocking me gently. Home.
Then there was the Comfort. Hot water on demand and for as long as I wanted to stand under the pressurized shower, smiling and moaning a little. The windows that closed properly, and the garbage tidy in its own container. My tiny car purring along on smooth, smooth roads. The dishwasher.
I was shocked by how good I felt. How easy it all felt. After months of living at the edge of the jungle - and loving it - wrestling potholes and contractors and the unavoidable cultural gaps and more (building a house as a single white woman who knows nothing about building houses was a little crazy, I realize now) I felt as though my nervous system was at a SPA. I rested. I deeply rested.
In fact, I barely left my house.
Lucky for me, my kids happened to be there with me, and together we created a joyful recipe of shared meals, laughter, conversations. We knew that this time was very special as we would soon all be heading in different directions and towards new adventures . This home held all of us so sweetly and the Universe was kind enough to allow me to find the house's new family shortly after arriving, thus removing the pressure of showing it, negotiating or worse: having to leave without soaking up all the Gifts the summer had for us. The transaction has been smooth, gentle and beautiful, and I get to stay here until the leaves start to change color. I may even be able to visit a pumpkin patch.
Gentle. That is the word. Which as a friend pointed out, I needed.
As some of us leave and a few boxes get packed, this home is slowing turning into a house. Very slowly. And on the other side of the world, what was a patch of dirt is slowly turning into a beautiful little house which I will be able to morph into a home when I return.
Some days, the parallel asks for some grounding on my part: I empty out a closet on the island, and I hear the ping of my phone signaling that I just received a photo of Casa Sama, in Mexico: the tiny basil plants are now full grown bushes!
It is such an odd and unique time.
And then, there is my mind. My human mind that likes to compare and make stories and make things mean way more than they need to.
One of my mind's favorites is: which one do you like best? Which one do you choose? Huh? Huh?
Because you see, until just a few days ago, I thought I had to choose.
I thought that surely if I loved the resftulness of this place, it meant I no longer loved the colorful chaos of Mexico. Or that if I wanted to live where chickens and dogs, and horses roam free, surely I would never want to live in the US again. Or Europe. How could I be so content in both places? I worried.
I worried because I was content. Read that again with me just for fun. I WORRIED because I was CONTENT. How freaking mad is this???
As I expressed my madness to a good friend, I was set straight: because you love, was the response.
That was a weird response, and as I opened my mouth to debate, I realized that well, that was true. And simple. I love, I do. Once I decide to love, I love big and full and so here I am, loving two (or more) places. And it turns out, there is nothing wrong with that at all. I am going to love it here until the girls and I get on the plane once again and then I am going to love it there. Because really, that's how I am wired.
So here's to Love and Freedom and to good friends who know us better than we do.
PS: In December of last year, I started a blog, a private blog about the building of Casa Sama. Now that we are almost done, I feel ready to share it more widely. HERE it is. I don't know whether it will inspire you or scare you but I can say this: It has been a wild ride.
SCARED OF THE SACRED