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Jun 5, 2018


When I am wearing a scarf wrapped around my shoulders



When I am writing

When I remember to dab the space between my breasts with lilac-scented perfume

When I am standing at the front of a room, teaching and sharing knowledge

When I hear nothing but the crunch of my boots on a path and the mourning doves echoing their sweet love songs back and forth


This is when I feel most at home.


This is when I feel most myself.



I’ve been deeply curious about the idea of belonging for several years now.

It started, I think, when I realized that I had lived in the place I do now for seventeen years

the same number of years I lived in the place I had always thought of as home.

I had lived apart from my family of origin for that long, too

and yet I still felt as though this place I live and the web of new familial connections I had spun were somehow temporary.


I felt a bone-aching loneliness when I realized that home was a place and a family I no longer knew as intimately as I once did.


As a balm,


I turned toward tending my new roots.

I learned about how my own ancestry intertwined with that of my adopted land many generations ago

and wondered about how my ancestry might have unconsciously influenced not just the ground I walk on today

but also my curiosities and inclinations and gifts.


As a balm,


I realized that the resilience to my lost sense-of-place lay in belonging to myself

and so I set out to make peace with who I have become

to accept her unconditionally

to show up and tend to her body and her soul so as to coax her out of hiding

and give her the courage to stand tall and wild.


As a balm,


I redefined mothering

as something I could do for myself

and I found the First Mother

in the limbs of trees and the lapping of the waves.


With every barefoot step

brave word

creative act

and ancient remembering


I am coming home to myself.