[This turned into a long blog, so Photo101 folks and Small Stone members may wish to scroll to the photo and “small stone” posted at the end]
For years I have dreamed of a cozy adobe casita in supportive community. But due to physical and mental illness, this dream, or either of these dreams, has proved impossible to manifest. And so, home has been
a dream I despair to find
~that place where I belong, and where I am respected and loved
I’ve been a solitary nomad, a temporary camper, for nearly twenty years (stuck in one place for eight years now due to illness). So the home I first think of is a house.
For someone with multiple chemical sensitivity and mold illness, a house needs to be environmentally healthy but my old trailer makes me sicker. I know I’m lucky to have it (far better than being homeless!), yet I dream ~and despair~ of finding the healthy house I need. The other part of my dream of “home”—community–is even harder to manifest. I have tried to find or create a supportive “intentional” community, but that depends on other people (and better health would help!).
I dreamed of home for too long, while growing old, and more ill. I have stopped dreaming because the dreams hurt too much when I can’t manifest them. I’m stuck in a place where I never wanted to live–a desert floodplain, a moldy old trailer full of clutter, alone.
Yet even here there is astonishing beauty: from glorious sunset skies to the hearts of flowers. My hearth is a solar oven under the desert sky, and many months of the year I walk the adobe paths barefoot, connecting physically with the Earth. My heart opens to the sparrow that feeds from my hand, the butterflies that flutter atop the Tithonia that now volunteers each summer (only water added). My virtual friends (from a private Facebook group for mindfulness writing) can be as fragranced or “smoky” as they wish without adversely impacting me, their comments on my daily postings an eagerly anticipated joy.
Some days I’m more “at home” than other days. But in seeking a “small stone” to post, there are at least moments of connection. The late light will create beauty from a dingy aluminum trailer and last season’s Tithonia stalks. The photo and poem posted to the Facebook group will evoke appreciative comments that bring the moment back to life. And months later, feelings evoked by that moment and by others’ appreciation echo again as I come across the picture.
For me, photos are powerful reminders, re-evokers of positive emotions and heart connections, bringing needed healing and hope. And so for this first Photo101 assignment I’m posting not a brand new photo but the one that came to mind when I wondered, “What does Home mean to me?”
a bit of Earth on which to ground
sunshine for the heart/h
the beauty of the late light
and even a cozy niche on social media