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Day 21

Day 21

“Have we traveled far enough that we can allow our tears to fall?”


I was told end of May that July 31 was the last day in our home of 6.9 years. The owners decided to remodel and sell their valuable piece of real estate. Valuable? The space held us during major life changes: the birth of a second grandson, end-of-life for both my parents, new employment for each of us, college degrees with honors, licensure, The Drought, while living in sight of one of my favorite places on Earth: the Santa Cruz mountains.


At first, I went into “De Nile.” Then a friend reminded me: after my mother’s passing I had made the remark, “I feel complete in the space.”  I said that? I remembered the feeling – of insight – the way insight comes up on me, softly familiar, with certainty. Not the Big Bang, more a trusted Inner Advisor. (


I entered the reality of home searching. Location does matter. And it turns out that Zillow is the real estate equivalent of photos of fresh, friendly homes were taken years before when the house and property where in their prime.


The cost of housing in the Santa Clara Valley is astronomical. And the competition – 80-100 applicants for one location! How would I stand out in the crowd? I boldly called a listing agent for a property that was already Off the Market. His advice: show up with financial documents in hand and a solid letter of introduction telling them who you are. Then I called in My People. I had learned a valuable lesson living in Tokyo – personal introductions are vital. I thought: I know someone who knows someone who has a home for me.


Mid-June, while facilitating a small group called “Thrive,” one of the participants asked me: What is your greatest fear? I replied: “Not belonging.” She smiled: “Anyone else would say ‘Being homeless.’”  I knew I would not be homeless; I feared not fitting in, not belonging. Oh – this was a deep revelation about my inner landscape.


The following Monday, at Staff Meeting, the Assistant Minister said: “My neighbors are moving and looking for someone to live in their house. Anyone know someone looking for a place?”  “I am!” I thought to myself: Live there? in that beautiful neighborhood? three blocks from my office? I said out loud: “Would you mind my living there?” She laughed. I felt – I intuited – the personal introduction from Spirit to my new home.


Six weeks passed, packing, closing down a household, detouring into fear, re-centering with prayer. Then, the month of August – without a home. On the day I applied for the house, documents in hand, I had the finest letter of personal introduction ever written. The agent called me two days later (on Sunday!) to say: “They want you to live in their house.” I was driving. I pulled over, tears in my eyes, to say a prayer of gratitude: “Thank You, Spirit, for the introduction.”


Today is Day 21, almost Autumn Equinox. I woke early, hearing planes revving for take-off. I thought: “They are taking off backwards.” Years ago a pilot friend explained: when weather patterns change, takeoffs reverse; planes lift over downtown rather than over the Bay.  A phrase came to mind, spoken by Judi Dench in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: “Have we traveled far enough that we can allow our tears to fall?” Have I traveled far enough to allow the deepest sorrows and the old attachments to fall away, to open to exquisite beauty, deep change, growth and joy?  It is almost 11 pm. The last flights are on the path into SJC – flying over downtown. Not flying backwards any more.  And I am home. I have traveled far enough to be here, where I belong.