You are already home

Have the courage
To soften.
Receiving this breath.

Rest here
In the safety of this sanctuary.
You are already home.

(Lizzie Lasater)

I am writing this at home. Not my adult-version, married-woman home. Not quite my family home, where I spent my whole childhood. But I am at least nearby to my parents’ house, visiting them in a covid-secure kind of way. So I am in my home county, within my home landscape. The place where I began.

I have a mental map of this area, my personal geography. There are places I love to revisit, seeing them through new eyes as well as through the lens of my past. I show and tell my husband: the places my Dad and I went birdwatching after school with me still in my school uniform and white ankle socks, the pub that had an aviary in the garden where I’d be given a lemonade and a bag of crisps while my parents enjoyed a shandy, the farm where we used to pick strawberries and how my brother and I were never allowed to eat while we picked, bar just one fruit to taste.

After a day exploring, I roll out my yoga mat in our rental apartment and take some breaths. I close my eyes and picture the landscape out beyond the doors, the marshland grazed by sheep and beyond that the sea, rolling onto the beach. As I begin to move my body I can hear the seabirds, I can taste on my lips the salt from my afternoon dip in the sea. My hair is beach-curly and my skin has a vibrant exfoliated feel from coastal winds and sand.

I feel free. I feel me.

I notice when I’m here I walk differently, I feel more confident, I look strangers in the eye, I am more sure. I belong. Decades living a different life in a city doesn’t erase my early years here. I am a child of this landscape.

In a few days when I return to my now-life and my adult home, can I take this feeling with me? Can I continue to feel it in my body, this steadiness and assurance? Can I take this sense of belonging into my yoga poses and cultivate a home within myself?

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