Contemplations of a very safe place to be
-- with a nod to the Souls who have passed this way before --
I am having a hard time finding a place to categorize this article which, at this point, is only a title with this one sentence.
It may well end up in philosophical concepts because I am just musing about my life or the last third of it, as I see it.
I was a baby once long ago in my Mama's arms. If that was a very safe place to be, I am never sure. It should always be a very safe place to be but sometimes lessons we all need to learn start early. I do know my Mama was my unfatigued champion and I do find that without her in my life the world takes a sudden unfamiliar shift. I wish I had gained the wisdom earlier in life to know you better, Mom, when you were here.
I was a child once long ago. The oldest child of 4, "thus the little Mama" for them all. If that was a very safe place to be I am never sure. I think I enjoyed my role though I knew no other. One of my little charges, the second to last, grew up, married, had two children and died too early at age 29. I wish I had gained the wisdom earlier in life to help you better, Nick, when you were here.
I was a teenager once long ago too. If that was a very safe place to be, I am very, very sure - no one told me about it. Never will I personally refer to those years as a very safe place to be. I think those very hard years with lessons learned happened that way because now it would be too much to accept.
I was in my twenties once long ago. If that was a very safe place to be, I must not have seen it because I left my life there and started another. Thankfully and forever I was given the best gift available to womankind, a baby boy, who joined the journey with me. The two of us forged ahead. I worked too much and missed too much, but today the baby boy who became a man solemnly promises that he would not change one thing. Something the unconventional person, flying whichever way the wind blows, truly needs to hear - to be sure - when contemplations finds one pondering the last third of life.
I was in my thirties once long ago. The day I turned 30 did not affect me at all. Some of my friends were visibly upset at the thought they had joined the ranks of grown ups and by the sixties mantra, not to be trusted. Since I had no intention of ever defining or limiting myself - it was just another day. If this was a very safe place to be - I cannot tell you for sure - but it was a great decade of self achievement. I did lose my great grandmother; she was just shy of her 100th birthday. I was so lucky to still have a great grandmother! But it was so time for her to go - that big heart just would not stop.
I was in my forties once too. That day did not affect me either. If that was a very safe place to be, I will never be sure - but it was, although strife with the perils of the eccentric, a fairly happy time. Sadly, I did lose many family members during that decade. But that is the way of the circle of life. The older members of our lives move on and the newer members come forth to bring the innocence and joy that soften the impact.
I am in my fifties now. Honestly forgot my birthday I was so busy. Apparently it did not bother me too much. Having survived Hurricane Katrina and the severing of a life that I considered the best and surely the reason for which I was born was way worst than turning 50 years old!
The heart wrenching Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and never to be forgotten Y2K debacle, (how exciting that was! - I knew we would survive) that some of us were seriously worried about are now on the look out for the 2012 Prophesies. I have to say the world is kind of in a scary place. I find it not at all, a very safe place to be. I say this in the global perspective because, in theory, I know the Mayan calendar will just start over. In the personal perspective I am furiously gambling with both hands and trusting that all will work out as it should and always has. Miraculously, I have always landed on my feet......I have to believe that this time I will too.
Which brings us to the last place I will ever live.
On last count of moving excursions, I had lived in 28 different places. That is a lot, I think. All of these places were in the same Country, most even in the same State or adjoining States. Apparently I like not to be tied down and some moves were for business not pleasure.
In 2008, Christmas Eve, I first laid eyes on the poorest, direst, droopiest little house I had ever encountered that was "For Sale" and not demolition, whilst delivering Christmas wishes and bottles of good cheer.
By 2009 - September 9th, (09-09-09) to be precise, this little droopy house was mine, papers signed. By a mere perchance of fate someone had given me a piece of that very same house in 2007 to use at my current home. A cypress swing painted in that old color green - that only comes with age. Who knew I would bring it home come 2011, hopefully sooner rather than later now.
I am within a month or two of moving into my little droopy home which has visibly perked up under my loving care and many a tear combined with blood, sweat, despair, and glimmers of hope. My trees have many birds, squirrels, and doves to watch over me. Doves have a special significance to my sister and I. We consider doves to be our Mother's and Grandmother's spirit-bird watching over us from heaven. Our Guardian Angels so to speak. The cuttings from my grandmother's garden, which interestingly originated from this very town at least 200 years ago, are starting to thrive as well. It is as though they know they are home.
Since that day on September 9th, 2009, with all the interest shown in my droopy little house....people would and still drive, sometimes hours, to check on this little house that had stood empty for so long....and they would be so thrilled when I would invite them in to see the progress... that I now and then thought, why don't I flip it? and move back to the French Quarter that I know, love, and truly miss so much? I even dared to speak the words aloud a few times. Having owed and sold 3 homes and 2 commercial buildings before - with 2 little houses now waiting to be sold - the thought was not entirely foreign - although flipping was not a term I was familiar with until it became popular on television reality shows.
But a couple of months ago, late in the day, I stopped what I was doing, looked around and realized that after THIS move, "I will never move again". THIS will be the last place I will ever live. This is it. This thought was so profound and right on, I put down the caulking gun I was using and had to sit down.
Contemplating this I thought, "I have never thought this before"! Ever!
I always wanted to live in the bottoms of Big Sur country, the most spiritual place I ever encountered - before or since my first experience there. Allowing for the natural course of my life thus far - I figured the winds of change would one day blow me that way.
But no, sadly or not sadly, this is not true anymore. I will not or never will live in the bottoms of Big Sur or any place else but my droopy little house. It is an undeniable truth. It may as well be etched in stone it is so true. I may see Big Sur again but I will never live there. I may see Europe and travel the world but the days of young, young no holds barred, and nothing can stop me mentality have come to an end.
If this is a good thing or bad thing I don't know yet. If this is a very safe place to be I don't know yet. It is a surprising thing, to be sure, an almost uncomfortable but comforting fact at the same time. I guess it explains all the agonizing, almost killing days that have been encountered in my droopy little house, all by myself, because it IS the last place I will ever live.
In fact, I must come to terms, not only is this the last place I will ever live BUT - if I am lucky enough - I will die here too. I am not trying to be morbid in any sense. Some of you will get this and some of you will not. But one day, for the ones who do not, the light-bulb will pop on. Lessons come at all stages and ages of life.
Now and without reservation whatsoever, my footsteps will join with the generations that have crossed these old, forever scarred, bent, and marred thresholds that hold the secrets, joys, and sorrows of the souls who have walked these impossibly time-worn floors before me. If I listen with complete stillness - I can hear vague, ancient, whisperings welcoming me home.
But, dear readers, I need some help. At the bottom of this article you should see a before and an old but after photograph of the exterior of my little droopy house thus far. The photograph is about 6-9 months old. Though white in color right now I have uncovered many colors. Greens, blues, reds, and grays of different hues. In not trying to remodel but to RESTORE - my guess at the original color is not to be definitely found. I sincerely would like to know what color(s) you would use if my droopy little house were yours.
I am leaning toward two choices. #1: Two colors of dark olive green. Mark Twain Green, the Valspar Historic Collection, for trim and a slightly not as dark olive for the body. The house would just blend into the earth side... OR #2: She could majestically stay the old white house at the top of the hill that now has dark green shutters and the red door.
I find the same trouble in trying to name her so feel free to throw out names if one pops into your head - she needs a name, don't you think? I must warn you - she is so free-spirited - don't let it scare you if a name DOES pop into your head - just jot it down. She is a powerful one - that one. I know for a fact if she did not approve I would not own her or rather she own me!
Here she is - my droopy little house, which is undeniably the last place I will ever live. The last place to shelter, warm, and value me. And just as important, the last place that will allow me to love, nurture, learn, and create within her walls and ultimately grant me peace and a very safe place to be.
Yes, she needs a name.