Coming Home: A Meditation

When was the last time you sat silent with the house in your heart? Maybe it’s time for some spring cleaning.

03 February 2024 / Published in The Taoist Online on Medium
Photo credits / Corina Rainer on Unsplash

I’m back home again. I haven’t truly been here for a while. Do I even recognize this place? Do I really even live here anymore?

Always so cluttered and messy. I really don’t dare to enter that often. I’d rather be outside and on the move, bearing the brunt of the violent storms and endless chatter.

These rooms and hallways hang heavy with an aura that just won’t let go. The shades of the walls colouring everything that lies within it — whether it be an angry crimson or a melancholy blue.

Maybe I should re-decorate it all with the latest and greatest — always in flux and not really me, but at least always in vogue and in with the times. Did I let someone else tell me how to fill the spaces and adorn the walls? Does this place feel more like a hotel than a home? Adequately comfortable but never quite unpacked?

The attic is creaking and sagging under the weight of the past and the basement is full of dark corners and far from the light. I’m just too weary to go up and too scared to go down.

Is the dining room warm and bright and full of memories of old toasts to bygone years and birthdays, or are the table and chairs still standing — silent and waiting for the guests to arrive?

Does my bedroom glow with good dreams and passionate moments or does it hang cold and dark, heavy with long slumbers and groggy mornings?

I stand in a place that feels foreign and fake. I should just make my way out and lock the door tight. Deal with this another day.

But then, I take a deep breath and finally turn still. I surrender to staying and start closing my eyes.

Slowly, the rugs roll up and the furniture fades. The glasses and dishes clear away from the cupboards and the clothes and shoes march out of the closets. The curtains part ways and the pictures fade out.

And then — in a flash — the windows swing open and the light streams in. This house breathes with fresh, clean air and healing light.

And then I realize that everything in here are all just things. Things that can be thrown out or given away — or perhaps just placed and positioned in a new way. A way that feels more like me.

I can clear out the attic and keep what feels good. I can shine light in the basement and banish the gloom.

But only if I stay. Only if I really look. Only if I truly feel.

I open my eyes and look around with a smile.

It will be hard work at first — with the scrubbing and mopping and sweeping and cleaning. But at the end lies the promise of a new place. A place far from those violent storms and endless chatter. A place I can always return to no matter what is out there. A place not for everyone, but a place that’s for me. Actually, no longer a place at all, but truly my home.

And if one day this time comes again, I can always remember that buried deep under the layers of the angry crimson and melancholy blue, there’s always a base coat of white.

Waiting for me to peel back the layers. Waiting for me to start once again.

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