On moving houses

jacaranda house-1Today we are moving from our beautiful Jacaranda House. As with many houses before, I loved this one. This where I wrote my book, The House of the Beloved, this is where I have been happy with my partner, where I have spent many hours in my wild garden, this is where I am used to being. But moving houses is not such a bad thing even if it is a cleansing experience spiritually, mentally, and financially. It gives us a new perspective on things and often awakens us to new possibilities, to the inevitability of change and growth in our lives. In one house, we stagnate. I have, for example, my couch from our lounge suite, which is my vantage point in the evenings. From there I can see the world from one particular angle, from one particular side to the exception of all other sides. I get accustomed to this view and I take it for granted and forget all other points of view available to me.  From my office overlooking my wild garden I get my inspiration, my peace, my solitude, my private time to which even my partner has no access. This is my little creative universe that is never up for negotiation. This small place, that office, this universe, the books around me on my shelves, my laptop, a few images on the walls – this space is always with me and within me. I know that wherever I am I will take it with me and recreate in one guise or another. I have done this all my life.

Moving will help me to rethink my space, to crack it open, to revaluate, to ‘re-feel’ it, to open to new possibilities and new ideas. Sometimes moving can be a painful exercise. I remember many years ago I was leaving a cabin in the mountains of British Columbia in Canada with my (then) husband. I had felt ‘inordinate love’ for that place.  We spent several summers working on it, enjoying it, arguing about it, struggling with the financial side of it – and we loved it. I remember how painful it was to move away from the cabin and let it go. As we were driving away I did not know that I would never return, that none of the dreams I had about our future there would come true and that that would be the last time I saw it. I did not know it at the time but the unmistakable pain in my heart I felt suggested inevitable changes were coming. A year or so later I began travelling alone. I moved countries, moved away from teaching in high school; I became a writer, academic, traveller, meditator.

Some moves are happy.  When I met my partner Shamir and we chose the house we were going to rent, we had a sense of new beginnings, of tying up the loose ends in our lives so we could be together. Every move gives an insight into where we are now. It gives a new angle on our lives, opens us up and confronts us with uncertainty, exposes how little control we have and how good it is sometimes to surrender.

I feel a little nostalgic about our Jacaranda house – it was our home but not our house (we rented it). It was our hacienda where dreamed many dreams and into which we brought love and where we have shared our presence with the unmistakable presence of a house wanting to be loved.

And I feel excited about our new home (if not our house), which I wanted so much once I saw it. I want its beautiful closeness to green walks, its walking distance to one of the most spectacular beaches I have ever seen, the surrounding cafes that already welcome me, the long walks that already wait for me, the love that we will share there and, yes, the quiet room where I will hide with my soul and my laptop and my books and which is as close to the material expression of my soul as is physically possible.

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4 Responses to On moving houses

  1. Kathy P says:

    If only everyone moved into new beginnings and dealt with endings as soulfully as you do, this planet will make a beautiful home for all…

  2. Sumitra Bateman says:

    Beautiful as always … Love your words, giving me the ability to visualise images & feel the emotions.

  3. JoannaKujawa says:

    Ah Sumitra, this is what a writer wants to hear. Thank you, beautiful 🙂

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