Posted in Spirituality, Travel, Travel Writing

Where is HOME for you? A place in space or a place inside you?

Last week in yoga class at the Red Buddha Yoga Studio in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, master instructor, Meg DeClerck asked us to consider, “Where is home for you?MegAfterClass

Each one of us in class had traveled to Isla Mujeres for an extended stay (one week to six months or more). Meg encouraged us to meditate during yoga practice that day on where we find home for ourselves.

  • Did we view the house and hometown from which we traveled our home?
  • Were we able to see our temporary home of the island as home for the duration of our stay?
  • Did we always interpret home as a place?
  • Or could we consent to the intangible concept of home as the truth that resides within us?

In her gentle way way of merging meditation into yoga practice (which by the way makes her the best yoga instructor I’ve ever had), Meg invited us to contemplate what our truth was and how it could be the home we carry with us, regardless of where we find ourselves in the world.

MegInYogaClassThe question resonated with me, because of the title of my blog.

As would happen, unfortunately my thoughts ran wild with how I would use this experience in my blog, only to find I lost a sense of being present during yoga practice and failed to meditate on the question.

So now I reflect on the still lingering question, where is home for you? Here is my belated, stream-of-consciousness exploration.

  • I recall at age fifteen while traveling in Europe one night I told fellow travelers I was tired and ready to go home. All of them, older than me, tried to console and convince me that we could not go home yet with ten days to go. I laughed. I wasn’t homesick, wanting to go back to the States; I wanted to go back to the hotel and go to bed.
  • My truth is that I’m at home most everywhere I go. Oh yes, I can fear the unknown. I can be physically uncomfortable; therefore I’m not likely to choose a mountain bike tour or a high-ropes course.
  • I like my creature comforts. A soft but supportive bed, and drinkable water are must-haves for me; while delicious food is a plus.
  • One year in anticipation of staying in a empty college dorm room while attending a writing workshop, I brought a brightly colored quilt for my bed, a photo of husband and daughter, and a candle to enhance the lonely feel of the space. Beauty in the broadest sense is important to my well-being.

My conclusion or truth:

I usually find comfort and beauMeOnBeachInShadeCompressedty wherever I go and make myself at home. I attempt to create beauty and comfort, if they don’t exist. That’s one of the reason I attend yoga classes while at home and away.

For me “Naked and Afraid,” a reality show, is not my idea of a fun adventure. A journey might include some discomfort; but certainly not hazardous and life-threatening elements. That’s why I seek out travel that is both comforting and comfortable, and is beautiful–for example the ocean, sand, surf, sun, and shade combination at Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

What is your truth about finding home? Is it a place in space or a place inside? How do you go about seeking, and finding or creating it? 

Posted in Travel

YOU DON’T HAVE TO LEAVE HOME

You don’t have to leave home to experience the world around you, if you are alert and paying attention. Often we think of seeing new creature elsewhere when we travel and that the moon looks more romantic and idyllic from another location. But I have three encounters with nature–two at home and another one, what could be your hometown–that wowed me this summer in the good old United States.

TOADS

I have had no luck in identifying a tiny reddish-brown toad that  hatched just about 2 weeks ago here in south central Texas. In seven years of living here, I’ve never seen this one before. I walk the dog everyday, so I notice things like this.

Toad.1.IMG_20150803_093555_396 By “tiny” I mean about half the size of my little fingernail when they first arrived.  They appeared over night in the hundreds of thousands, I presume.
Two weeks later they are now about the length of the first joint of my little finger.  They are everywhere–hopping out of the grass as I walk; lounging or leaping    about in our rock garden; and sometimes smashed on the golf cart path.

Toads are helpful critters in that they eat fleas, mosquitoes, and other bugs as they  grow larger. I’m fascinated by their size; their color, which matches the red rocks  in the garden; and their numbers. I hope to learn more; but until then, I’ll enjoy  their company.

 

THE MOON

Last Friday morning as Murphy (our Shih Tzu) and I started out for our walk about 6:45 a.m., the full blue moon sat on the horizon in front of me. It looked as if the tree tops were holding it up. It was platter size and golden yellow surrounded by peachy tones in the sky. I always have my cell phone with me–but not this day. I am sorry I have nothing except my description to offer you.

The day before I had heard on NPR about the July “blue moon.” Though not always blue in color, it refers to both full moons of a calendar month or the fourth moon in a season, which only happens about every 2.7 years. The last one was in 2012; the next one, likely in 2018. Read more about a blue moon to learn how it came to be called that by mistake on the NPR site above.

CICADAS

Cicada.1.IMG_20150528_160720_670   Though I was traveling out of state this year when I encountered a new critter, this could be your hometown. I was in Jackson, Tennessee visiting my Aunt Faye. When I got out of the car I heard this strange whirring noise unlike anything I’d heard before. Almost industrial, like a machine working hard to cut through tough material, but not quite.

Magicicada Periodical Cicadas (13- and 17-year cyclical locust) in 2015
Magicicada Periodical Cicadas (13- and 17-year cyclical locust) in 2015

When I asked about the sound, Aunt Faye explained it was a 17-year cycle cicada (not the same one I see and hear all the time whether I’m in my home state of Arkansas, in my current home in Texas or in France, which is renowned for the cicada).

We took photos of it in my mom’s  hand.

I came home and looked it up, it is called the Magicicada Periodical Cicada. It is not the typically annual cicada that we hear at night in the summer, that is squarish at the head and wider, and that is greenish iridescent.  This one is slender and a warm reddish-brown color. In fact the  Magicicada Periodical Cicada, is heard in the spring and early summer and only in certain states. AND it whirs, instead of chirping; it fills the air with a sound that one feels as well as hears.

What about you?

Have you experienced a new critter or new nature sighting this summer in your backyard, hometown park, or friend’s farm or ranch close to home?

Share those with us.