Last Wednesday, I spent an entire day cleaning the kitchen in the house I lived in for eleven years. After I moved out, the remaining inhabitants, all very busy with full lives, kind of let it go. For a year.
And in the meantime, there have been renovations happening which meant plaster dust EVERYWHERE. Like, everywhere. IN the drawers. ON everything.
It sounds horrible, but it wasn’t.
Let me explain.
This house has been the first house I have ever felt at home in. I was rooted so deeply in this house that I swear, if I died and you wanted to invoke my spirit, all you would have to do is stand in a particular spot in the livingroom and say my name three times and POOF. I’d appear.
I started my business in this house. I loved and lost fiercely in this house. I grew balls in this house.
I found myself in this house.
And then I had to leave because staying was no longer tenable, so I packed up a small portion of my belongings and I settled in here on Old Carriage Drive. My cocoon. My sanctuary. My hobbit hole.
The house I left behind did not change at all while I was away. All the things I left remained exactly where I’d left them. Though people were living in the house, it was like a museum to the death of my marriage. It was like time stood still. Things got added to the various piles (especially dust and dog hair), but it was like a tomb. No one disturbed my leavings.
In April of this year, my beloved went to India and it completely shifted everything for him. It was as though he retrieved an essential piece of his soul that he’d left behind in the land of his birth. When he came back, we renewed our commitment to one another, reasserted our willingness to honour the intense bond that we’ve always had, and we began to plan to fix it.
First step, fix the house.
“Fix” is actually too mild a term.
Gut the house. Walls, floors, furniture, fixtures. Gut it and start over with a *plan*. Instead of letting the house (and life) happen to us, we vowed to act *upon* the house and create a home.
The process began and so far, two rooms have been stripped bare of ceilings, walls, and floors. One room is actually, finally finished and the other just needs a few finishing touches and some paint. Next on the agenda is the kitchen, which has been the bane of my existence for as long as I’ve lived there. Then, the bathroom, and then one of two bedrooms – the other, my former attic studio, is in good shape since we fixed it up a few years ago.
I can’t tell you how redemptive this has been. It is as though everything that was wrong is being set right. It is as though we are letting go of how things didn’t work so we can make room for how things do work.
After I exhausted myself with a tornado of cleaning on Wednesday, we bought a case of beer, turned on the tunes and proceeded to burn some of the lathe and hardwood that we’d torn out of the house. It was fucking glorious. For a while there, I sat alone, tending the fire. I felt moved to talk to the divine, and so I let my body fall into a state of total relaxation, and I addressed the earth, my mother.
In You we live, move, and have our being.
From You all things emerge.
And unto You all things return.”
As I chanted, it began to rain and it felt like a blessing. Like the elements themselves – the wind in the trees, the rain, the earth beneath my bare feet, and the fire before me – were coming together to bless the process of letting go.
My son and the Manfingy soon joined me and we sat and talked in the heat of the fire and the cooling kiss of the rain for hours as we tossed pile after pile of wood into the fire.
I just wanted to share this with you because this process of letting old things go and making room for new things is impacting me very powerfully. I am spiritually energized in a way I haven’t felt in a very long time. It feels like a death and rebirth. It feels like a whole new phase of my life is beginning.
I turn 47 at the end of September and while the house won’t be completely done by then, it will be well on its way.
I don’t know why that feels significant to me, but it does.
In Other News
These classes are open for registration. It would be grand to see you in either of them. <3