At this time last year, my family was leasing Paradise… a 25 acre estate with my horses grazing happily by a pond.
The house was old, fantastically quirky, in need of love and absolutely perfect for us. It was the first place we ever lived where I had my own space ~ my study ~ where I could sit quietly and meditate or write or just daydream as I gazed out the window into a sea of leaves. My husband, likewise, had a space of his own – an expansive Man Cave, enviable enough to make any male drool. There were fireplaces and a sunny kitchen and a full-sized concrete-floored basement for my son’s rip stick antics. Our master bedroom had an incredible view of the pond and pasture, our bed nestled beneath a red, glass light fixture that I dubbed the “Bordello Lamp” – a funky piece of artistry that I can best describe as sexy in a classy, trashy kind of way. It always made me smile. I’m just that kind of weirdo.
We had room to spread out… woods to explore, a fire ring by the pond, an outdoor bath under the magnolias, wind chimes singing on the front porch, gardens.
All of our animals had space,too, in this happy kingdom. Dogs, cats, horses and chickens – all content to just BE, because just BEING is what our animal friends do best.
There was a sigh of peace in the air; a deep feeling of belonging. It’s possible to feel loved by a place, and I felt profoundly loved by the spirits there.
It was a place of healing for me. Old wounds, untended to for years, healed. Doors opened in my soul. New passion kindled in me. My heart expanded. I reclaimed myself and fell in love with me again. Every day was a moving meditation and a prayer of gratitude.
It was magical.
It was our Haven.
I won’t say that all good things come to an end, but some things do. We were only leasing Paradise, after all. The property was for sale when we moved there in late 2012. We knew it could sell, we knew we might have to move, and so our stay was a dance in temporariness. It was a risk we were willing to take.
The property sold earlier this year, and after many months of chaos, meeting challenge after challenge, we’ve resettled in our new home, not too far away from our former Haven. The new owners allowed us to take a few mementos of the place with us -- including my beloved Bordello Lamp, which now hangs overhead in my study.
We’re incredibly grateful for our new place. It’s a blessing; a safe place to reorder our dreams, reshape our goals and rebuild our lives.
Is it Paradise?
What I’ve come to realize is that Paradise really isn’t a physical place. It’s not somewhere you visit, it’s not really something you can buy, and sometimes it’s only temporary state of being.
Truly, what I’ve discovered is that Paradise is within. The Haven is within. It lives in our hearts and minds.
I’ve always considered myself a fortunate person. One Paradise evolves into the next, carried inside – a lesson I’m lucky to have learned.
I’m grateful for everything. As I write in my new study, my internal Paradise basks in the external glow of a sex-red Bordello Lamp. I love it -- because I’m just that kind of weirdo.