“Home” is a concept that I have always struggled with and I have never really had a good answer to common enquiries as to where I am from. I have American parents. I was born in Germany. I spent the first 25 years of my life in England and now I currently live in the US. Other than my husband and children, I have no relatives within a 2500 mile radius.
This has always been a great source of pain for me—a general longing for a sense of home, envy at others surrounded by and connected to family, of belonging.
I always try to root. I plant gardens, but I never get to see them flourish.
Exactly 20 years ago, my husband and I bought our first home in Maine. I bought a Rosemary plant and started my first garden. Rosmarinus officinalis, dew of the sea—we connected instantly.
When I think of Rosemary, I imagine a warm cozy hearth in a warm, cozy home. Her energy is warming (obviously), encouraging you to be fully present physically, fully embodied—secure, warm and comfortable in your home—your body.
Every fall, in order to survive the harsh Maine winters I have to dig her up and bring her in a pot indoors. This is not something she tolerates particularly well, I guess like anyone really, when faced with change. Change is uncomfortable. It takes time to settle and adjust, and that’s assuming your pot is a good fit.
I can totally relate to the discomfort. I’m no stranger to change myself. Five different homes in the last 20 years. Five different towns.
Each time, I try to settle, to put down roots, and establish my home only to discover one day, usually without too much warning, the inevitable chaos that precedes change starts to show itself again. I recognize it immediately and know that change is imminent.
I love my current home. My little community that I have been building. The children are settled. We have friends. It’s all good...except the little problem of my husband’s work, or lack of it that is. Turns out the yacht design industry isn’t flourishing as we had hoped in this neck of the woods. I feel the fear, the uncertainty, the discomfort settling in again...the chaos that precedes change.
It’s winter. I’m cold. I’m sitting on the couch next to my giant Rosemary plant trying to get warm. “Home is where the heart is,” she whispers, or rather shouts, since we have been through this before, many times. I just want to feel settled somewhere. Secure. Somewhere my children will fondly relay to others as their home.
But Rosemary reminds me, again and again.
That sense of place I'm longing for—that home I desire—is in my heart.
In my body, the container of my soul, it is within me. Home is LITERALLY where your heart is.
She reminds me to come home to myself. To pause my worrying and what if’s and be fully present in my body. Fully here on this earth. Now. That is the reminder. The clarity. There is no security otherwise.
I may never see this garden flourish but if I keep seeking outside of myself for my sense of home I’m not sure I will ever find that peace that I am looking for.
Rosemary can be found in my Soulflower Plant Spirit Oracle Deck.
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The more I fight and struggle and suffer, the more I create all that I am not. And the more I sink into the watery depths of despair, which I have done over and over as I have unpacked my personal suffering, the more I pull others down with me. Rose tells me over and over that what is in my highest good is indeed in the highest good for all.
On our metaphorical dance floor that is life, we are faced with many choices every moment about what steps to take next. Lady’s Slipper asks if our steps come from within, guided by our connection with our higher selves, or if are they choreographed by others?