As part of our community blog content at ON THE MOVE, we present our interview series, where we invite movers to bring their thoughts not only on the physical move but on the intensely personal experience of moving house. Here we explore the spirituality and psychology of Home and why where we live means so much to us. We want to hear your story, please share it with us.
By Sherrill Layton
WINTER is a time of gearing down. It's unfortunate that I do not have any more snowfall to goggle at, because it's one of my fondest childhood memories. The alarm goes off for school and, with any luck, it was something by The Beatles, the most excellent get-ready-for-school music ever. You could tell just by the weight of the air that it had snowed. A silent weight loaded with questions that you know will have to sit tight without answers, possibly forever. A silence that wraps you and lifts you up under the arms a little, nudging you to listen more closely. An intimate silence that you try to shy away from by instantaneously making noise... a swift run to the windows, the pull of the curtain, and voila! I would say that I could put those moments on my top-five Glee List.
There is a quick acquaintance with memories of the quietness first felt on wakening on those mornings. As the forehead slowly made its way to rest on a freezing pane of glass in innocent reverence—bow to powers—I finally realize, WINTER is alive. My breath, witnessed by that chilly platitude, offended no one and made itself a wee dewy canvas for window hearts.
Winter has always held my attention because it is such an indoor season. We prefer to be snug indoors, but I have taken the time to feel snuggly outdoors, too. No matter the season, the garden always calls.
Disheveled and Bemused
It was the WINTER of a decade. I was weeding under the persimmon trees in my familiar bird-drinking posture, like a Prayer Barbie making orange-peel offerings to the compost god. On one particular bow, I stayed down in a momentary shock of stillness... then snapped straight up again and kindly looked ahead. My gesture was fixed, but not rigidly so, I was just suddenly attentive. This new space embracing me allowed moving energy to pass through me, but not from a familiar place. There was something original about this sensation; it was a first. Stark polarities were dancing inwardly, accented by all my surroundings as if someone had just put a new lens of understanding in front of me. It was outside anything I had ever seen before.
As I looked around the garden my mind seemed peculiarly empty of thought, and there were several senses cut up by my personal eternity. Infused by a life of their own, they gathered about me in a chorus of lilting acceptance. These senses piqued to a quality of listening that I had only vague memories of experiencing as a child in the forest. I used to go to a special place about a kilometer up the mountain. It had a small path that cut to the left, and I would follow it to the end assuming animals had marked it out just to show me a good place for berries. They knew that I loved salmon berries the best, and they gave me many other secrets besides that. The animals that ate berries were berry bears, but I do not recall ever once being afraid there, it was a simple forest of love and one of the few places that gave me peace. One boulder, in particular, had such a cool surface, perfect to support my little crooked bottom on and I remember it hugging my ass and smiling. This is why I always went back, for that smiling, ass-hugging rock. No judgment, no yelling, no envy, no false piety, no mock tenderness, no sting after the fact. Just cool granite for bum hugging. It was my only support. The memory of that washed over my body as subtly as the lightest wind, and I was a feather by then...
Mystical experience is difficult to describe to one's self, so I decided that it had been a moment of individual conscience and unique presence—I experienced clear thinking. It had never happened to me before, a thought of my own, and it felt so unusually beautiful that I knew it must be bang on. A thought stood free of time or subjective decoration. It was time to detach myself from my entire life and begin afresh. “Go off!” was the command. This time, it was neither the moon nor the sun giving dictation, but something to which I cannot bring a word... may it remain forever on the tip of my mind.
Stay warm and enjoy the snow if it arrives... it confirms there's magic in the sky.
Sherrill Layton is an editor, writer, and media ecologist with her own PR group, promoting local, earth-conscious small businesses. From social media to academic articles, Sherrill focuses on honest relations and loving kindness.
You can find her on Twitter & LinkedIn.
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