A week ago I looked at a house. I had transferred with my job to a new location in town, a location I had always loved. Tired of the drive from my current home I begin looking for a place to buy. The house I looked at was a bit small yet I felt at home there. The intimate front courtyard greeted me like an old friend as the cool south facing porch beckoned me to sit, take some respite from the Arizona sun, bide awhile. A stately museum Palo Verde graced the front yard in the east, providing dappled patterns of shadow and light on the ground – sol y sombra. I quickly walked through the house to the backyard and was enveloped in deep shade of the porch that ran almost the entire length of the home – north and east. An outdoor fireplace, a raised planter, open desert behind the home – it was as if I had created this yard myself. I sighed deeply – a sigh not unlike the sighs that escape my lips whenever I looked at new homes and quickly scan through interiors to get to the prize – to the outdoors, to Nature.
I made me smile to picture myself on the front porch reading a book or drinking tea, my cat at my feet – or chasing lizards in the courtyard. At nearly 15 she never catches them now. I felt me in the back yard on a cool fall night sitting, a throw over my shoulder, mesmerized by the flames in the fireplace. Home.
“Care to share? What are your thoughts? ” my realtor/friend asked.
I had no thoughts, I could only feel. A bit annoyed at his intrusion on my daydream, I stated “I don’t care to share.”
I then smiled at him, as if to say “It is not about you,”– a running joke we have between us – and forgave his intrusion. I took a second, longer look inside the home. It was too small. What about resale? What about my “stuff”? Am I buying right for the market? Do I like this place just for the zip code?
“Pare Down.” I heard the words in my head then, not as a formed thought but more like a gentle command. I have friends who regularly “hear” things but this is only the second time in my adult life that I have heard words between the thoughts – words not my own. After the first instance of hearing those words, everywhere I looked in the home thinking that it was too small and that my things will not fit, I heard “pare down.” Hearing the words repeatedly did not get annoying. It was as if they were now a part of me, a mantra, a prayer.
But stubbornly, in my mind, I appealed to my guides, my dispensers of wisdom: “Give me a sign. Make it so that there is no mistake that it came from you. Help me KNOW the correct decision to make about the houses I have seen, and specifically about this house.”
As I drove away from the house I saw a rainbow to the east. They weren’t getting off that easily.
The next day I looked at yet another house. The layout was better, the rooms bigger, and the price less. Yet it did not feel like home. The yard was nice but I could not see or feel myself there. After a perfunctory look around, my heart not in it, I glanced again at the kitchen. There, above the stove, was a wall hanging I had not seen earlier. It read “Here is Your Sign.” My laughter exploded in the house competing with the TV that the owner had left on.
I had to explain my realtor/friend why I was laughing. But was it a sign to buy this house or the other one? He wondered aloud. I was confused until I remembered how I had felt the day before at the other house.
“Pare Down.” I knew what the words meant. I also knew who transmitted them. I knew that paring down was the only way to comfortably live in that home. I also knew, beyond the obvious, that buying that house, in that location at that time would be the beginning of a new life.
“Pare Down” – get rid of the dross, the flack, the stuff that makes you heavy, that weighs you down – people, beliefs, things.
“Pare Down” – lighten up, change, reinvent yourself.
Yesterday I cut my hair. It’s a start.
Today I had a strong urge to call my friend Geoff whom I had not heard from in over a year. So I did.
Courtni ~ The Soul Muse