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I am Home (and So Are You)

bienvenidostala

Every home needs this Talavera sign from Tonála, Jalisco México

This week the word “home” has come up a lot in conversation; not “home” as in house or structure, but home as in where your heart belongs, where you know yourself best, or where everything feels just right. Having recently left México, my heart is heavy, and I long for the elements that made it feel like home. I left hot, busy days and warm, dreamy nights but, rather than mourn this change, I am choosing to celebrate where I am now, in Sacramento. I find this choice, among all others, is key in making everyday life feel fantastic.

Home is not where you live but where they understand you.
– Christian Morgenstern (discovered on a wall at the Guinness Factory in Dublin)

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Buenas noches, Puerto Vallarta: the view from my apartment front door

Recently, someone stayed in my apartment in México when I returned to the US.  I asked how they liked their visit and they responded it was “kind of like camping.” I wasn’t sure how to accept this: did they like it? Was it too sparse and simple? Or were the large spiders and lizards, who visit through the open windows, enough to make them wish they’d stayed in a hotel? It was hard to tell, but also funny to hear one person’s opinion of a place that for me felt like paradise: a comfort zone, a happy space and, more than anything, my home.

lizardococina

It’s your turn to do the dishes – iguana en mi cocina

Friends and followers of my blog already know I am an advocate of Visioning® by Dr. Lucia Capacchione, the 10 step method to living the life of your dreams. What many do not know is that I have manifested most of my amazing homes, from a sweet sótano apartment in Midtown Sacramento to my giant studio in Puerto Vallarta overlooking Bahia de Banderas. By positively channeling my energy and releasing the results to the Universe, I have had some incredible places to call home and my current situation is no different.

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This Casita statue greets friends with open arms

Right now I am living en una casita buena: close to Sacramento, but tucked away enough that it feels like el campo. In the distance you can hear occasional sounds of the shooting range and road safety practice nearby (imagine the “pop pop!” of pistols and screeching tires on wet asphalt a la El Mariachi.) Even when my new home feels like a special retreat, the edgy interruption of noise reminds me I am still within city limits.

Home is any four walls that enclose the right person. – Helen Rowland 

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Ahhh…La Casita en el campo

The casita land has grassy areas to walk on, a giant hammock to nap in and weathered artwork in the trees. Next door live friendly goats, clucking chickens and several giant mulas who happily stretch over the fence when I give them apples and carrots.

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Whiskey approaches the fence for a fresh apple

There’s even a few gallina ând a large gallo, whose cock-a-doodle-do in the early morning was a sound I loved to wake up to while living in México.

gallinas

Buenos días, gallinas!

Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.
― James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

Last weekend I spent a few days camping in Ukiah, California, and was reminded of the greatness within this giant state. Winding roads lead to Bushay Recreation Area on Lake Mendocino, “Where redwood forests meet wine country.”  

kd-lakesmallmx

Getting ready to fish for some pescado along the shore.

Little blue lakes dot the landscape of lush greens along Highway 20, welcoming those who fish, kayak and paddle board for fun. I tried my hand at fishing and spent hours tossing my line in, enjoying the “sport,” which both calmed and thrilled me at the same time.

Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need.
– Sarah Ban Breathnach 

For a few days, a red vinyl tent was my “home,” and it was perfect: soft blankets and hard earth, bugs outside the mesh windows, owls hooting into the dark night air. My camp group was mostly friends from El Salvador, Guatemala and México, so I felt very at home speaking my beloved español.

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Las mujeres, enjoying an afternoon at camp and cleaning pescado for cena

We ate together as una familia, sharing warm tortillas, fresh pescado and delicious fried platanos, plus my favorite snack, elote, cooked over the fire. Campers played cards, told jokes and watched sleepy toddlers tumble into hamacas in their pijamas. For a few days, I celebrated this “home” before returning to my current one, in Sacramento.

Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more.
― Robin Hobb, Fool’s Fate

kd-hamaca

Happy in la hamaca, swinging away near three little “homes”

Although it is said, “Home is where your heart is,” and “Home is where you hang your hat,” I find two definitions to be more accurate:  “the place or region where something is native or most common” and “reaching the mark aimed.” If something common is the same as something for which we aim, then can’t any place be home? Most likely, yes. Therefore, home isn’t a place with four walls, a floor and ceiling, but simply, we are home, and home… is us.

juanconejo

Juan Conejo greets Casita dwellers as we arrive home

Welcome home.

Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling
― Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie

Author: Kate Dana

Teacher, traveler and writer living on the Caribbean coast of South America.

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