Discover more from Creators of New Earth
There’s No Place Like Home
This past weekend I had a chance to visit my hometown on the Oregon Coast. It’s a beautiful place called Cannon Beach, and it is popular both nationally and internationally. I lived there from 1971 through 1985, off and on, as some of that time was spent in San Francisco with my Mom.
In any case, the majority of my childhood was spent in Cannon Beach in a house that my Father built. It was a beautiful house that sat on twenty-three acres of pristine temperate rainforest and a view of the ocean. We had chickens, ducks, geese, horses, two dogs, and a cat. For a short while, we also had some turkeys, a pig, and a goat. Inside the house, we had birds and guinea pigs, and at one point, we even had an iguana and some chameleons.
It is a house built from wood with a shingle roof. It has a very large beautiful fireplace, made from large rocks my family gathered from the beach. The kitchen has a brick floor and was complete with a wood cook stove (removed by the current owner) on which all our meals were cooked. The wood for the living room floor came from the trees on our property. Throughout the house, there were handmade doors, lofts and skylights (in each bedroom), and stained glass windows.
Home Sweet Home
As you can imagine, it is very beautiful. I feel immeasurably fortunate to have grown up in that house, on that land, and in that time and place. I spent hours and hours in that forest with the birds and the blackberries, the quail, the goose, and the huckleberries, the salamanders, and the salmon berries. There were bears, deer, elk, and bald eagles in the forest as well, and huge ferns everywhere. In places, moss covers huge swaths of the ground floor. There is also lichen and fungus everywhere. It is one of the most beautiful places on Earth I have ever known, inclusive of the fourteen countries I have been to. I feel blessed beyond measure to have such a deep connection to the land there.
On the property, there was also a huge organic garden (no longer there), a horse corral and stalls, a beautiful wooden chicken coop (also built by my Father), a duck pond, and my Father’s tool shed. There was a beautiful flower garden to the side of the vegetable garden. We had our own water reservoir, which meant no chlorine or fluoride in our water (lucky us). Though we did have electricity and running water, our sole sources of heat were the wood cook stove, the fireplace, and a huge heat stove on the hearth next to the fireplace. Home-cooked meals on a wood stove are absolutely delicious, something I will never forget.
Creators of New Earth is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
My late Father was a carpenter, except for in the summer when he was a fisherman. He had a twenty-two-foot dory boat named Surfer Girl. He used to launch right off Haystack Rock (seen in the photo above) in the wee hours of the morning, just before sunrise. He was joined by the other dory fisherman in town. Our family would sometimes go to see him off and return to meet him at the end of the day. He would return with chinook and sockeye salmon, lingcod, halibut, and sea bass, depending on the catch of the day. He would sell his fish at the local seafood market, and the market would sell it to the tourists, grocery stores, and local restaurants.
Naturally, he would always bring some home. Summers were delicious and included fresh blackberry pies (with berries from our property), Dad’s yummy fish, and organic vegetables from our garden. Our community was very small and tight-knit. It was made of artists, writers, musicians, fishermen, merchants, landscapers, and blue-collar workers. Families would often gather on the beach for a salmon bake, a visit, and a fire. There were lots of potlucks, the children were invited for sleepovers at each other's houses, and everyone knew and looked out for each other.
Home Is Where Your Heart Is
This all took place during the 1970s and early 1980s, when life was much slower and more laid back, and the world was a much safer place. Kids could be gone all day in the forest, in town, on the beach, or at each other’s homes, and no one thought anything of it. Today Cannon Beach is much different. The hustle and bustle mean bumper-to-bumper traffic throughout the town, and you are lucky to find a parking space. The town is quaint, beautiful, and overrun! There are some beautiful state parks and beaches within miles of Cannon Beach, and they are overrun too. Parking can be scarce, beaches full, and lots of traffic on the highway.
Times and places change. Cannon Beach is not the town where I grew up. Though it is still quaint and beautiful, with its gigantic hanging flower baskets and flower beds nestled in front of storybook building storefronts - it is different. It is the land that holds my heart. Last year when I returned for a celebration of life that I planned for my late Step Mom and my Father, it had been many, many years since I had been to Cannon Beach. I had the opportunity to return to visit the forest and house I grew up in. I was staying just across the forest from my house with the Mother of a childhood friend.
I walked from her house to my house and spent some time looking around, taking pictures, and walking in the forest. I returned a couple of days later on my birthday to sit in the forest. I made some offerings and then just sat in silence, absorbing the beauty and the connection I feel when I am there. There is something profound and indescribable that happens when I return. My whole being lights up. It’s like a thirst that is quenched after years without water. My body has a strong resonance with the land I grew up on and to Cannon Beach and the vistas of Indian Beach and Ecola State Park and Haystack rock. It pulls on me like the moon pulls the ocean.
This past weekend as I returned again to my former home and forest, to the town of Cannon Beach, and to my favorite vistas at Ecolas State Park and Indian Beach, I felt the same as last year. My heart bursts wide open; my inner child comes out to play. I feel a deep sense of connection to life and immense gratitude for nature and for Mother Earth. I have immense gratitude also for my Step Mom and my Father for creating the situation they did for my family. It was a lot to take care of five children and all those animals and maintain the property and garden.
All those home-cooked meals, all the shuttling of their own kids and other children too, and from sleepovers, community events, and school-related activities. Phyllis(my Step Mom), and Larry(my Dad), were icons in Cannon Beach. They were known by the community for the kindness and help they offered to others. We often took children into our home when their own home was broken. My Dad was always willing to lend a hand with his skills to build and fix things or give someone fish to eat. My Dad’s Bluegrass band entertained a lot of locals and tourists at Bill’s Tavern over the years. Bluegrass practice was a weekly event at our house. I have fond memories of warming myself by the fire while listening to music and then climbing a ladder up to my loft to fall asleep as I listened. Phyllis was often the inspiration for gatherings at the beach or at a state park for a multiple family Easter egg hunt and community outdoor potluck on Easter.
I am grateful to have these memories and a sense of connection to nature and community. I am grateful to my friend who offered their cabin to me last weekend, so I could return to Cannon Beach and have a much-needed respite from care-taking these past five months. I got to eat blackberries off the vine and climb a tree up to a tree house above the cabin. I got to share Cannon Beach, my old home, and my favorite places with a newfound friend from Depoe Bay, where I now live. She, like me, loves flowers and nature. She had never been to Cannon Beach, and she loved it.
There were things we could not do because of her inability to walk very far, but it brought me so much joy to share all of that with her. It brought her a lot of joy too. She does not often get to go on trips anymore, and I could tell she was delighted. The few things we wanted to do downtown were guided by the magic of parking fairies, and everything we wanted to do we did without having to walk far. It was amazing. I share this because, when I originally thought of my weekend in Cannon Beach, I thought I would go alone. I really needed to be alone. I wanted to meditate in my childhood forest and spend time in the cabin and on the beach in silence. I fancied writing in my journal and having to answer to no one and nothing.
One day last week, Marion(my friend) took me out to lunch, and it just came out of my mouth; “Hey, I am going to Cannon Beach next week. Would you like to come with me?” It was an immediate yes! When I went home, I thought to myself, “What have I done? I just sabotaged my ALONE weekend getaway.“ And yet, I am so glad I brought her with me. Our friendship grew, she got to get away too, and we had a lot of fun. It was exciting sharing things close to my heart with her, and she loved every moment!
Making Peace With What Is
My childhood was not perfect. There was a lot of arguing going on between my parents - often in front of guests. In high school, I found every excuse I could not to be home, and I numbed myself a lot by smoking pot and drinking alcohol. I also became sexually active at a young age. There are things I would do differently if could rewrite my teenage years and even some of my adulthood. The point is, we are all doing the best we can with what we are working with at the moment. It is important to heal what needs to be healed and evolve over time and not carry the burdens of the past. We are here attending Earth School in order to grow.
Our weekend was not perfect either. Marion slept on a couch because she could not climb the ladder to the loft where the bed was. Sleeping in the loft was no hay day either. There was hardly any space between the ceiling and the mattress, and it was sloped at an angle, leaving me feeling extremely claustrophobic. It was so bad, in fact, that in the middle of the night, I took four pillows and tried to make a bed next to the couch. It was so cold and hard and uncomfortable that eventually, I returned to the loft.
I was struck by how easily I was able to sleep in the loft after that. It left a huge impression on me. It was as if my psyche, after comparing the cold, hard floor to the claustrophobic feeling, decided that the loft was no longer a problem. It was a huge lesson about contrast and how quickly the mind can adapt.
I came home, and of course, the t.v. was on. The man I take care of had it on from sun up to sun down with a few breaks in between when he is on his computer. It has been broken for the past few weeks, which has been a great relief. I have never owned a television since I left home and really can not stand television at all. In any case, while I was gone, it was replaced, and it was on when I returned. After all that time in nature and no t.v. It felt like a huge assault. I greeted Ken (with whom I live), had a brief conversation, and immediately went to my room to get away from the t.v.
I noticed myself wondering why Ken’s son and his wife, who looked after Ken (and my cat) while I was away, had done certain things while they were here or why they had not done other things. I immediately caught my mind in a negative loop. “Julie,“ I said to myself. “Let it go. It does not matter what they did or did not do. What matters is that they took care of Ken and your cat, so you could go to the beach.”
I share with you about my arguing parents, the uncomfortable sleeping situation, the television, and my complaining mind, to make a point. Almost everything in life is about perspective and a willingness to accept responsibility. Usually, it is not our situation that is uncomfortable; it is our mind’s perspective that makes us uncomfortable.
In the case of wounds that we carry, it is not helpful to blame people and to tell our stories over and over and allow those wounds and burdens to fester and control the narrative of our lives. It is we who must accept responsibility for our healing and transformation. It is we who must notice how our mind pushes us around and makes us irritated and uncomfortable. Everything that makes us uncomfortable is a chance to grow, to learn, to release, to heal, to evolve, and transform.
Granted, some traumas are worse than others. Sometimes, the best we can do is to make peace with something, even if we never overcome it. Many times, however, all we need is a shift in perspective or an attitude adjustment. Sometimes, however, we need a major overhaul of our life. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary for our physical and mental health to leave: a relationship, a job, a town, or a friendship.
We are only in this body for a very short time. We do not even know how many more hours, days, months, or years we have. While we are here, this body and mind, this Earth, are our home. It is important to take care of all of them. Learn to listen to your heart, learn to feel the movements of your spirit, take care of your body, train your mind, and work with your consciousness. Connect to that which connects everything and learn from it.
You are a sacred, beautiful, and unique thread in the web of life. Your soul’s expression is part of what breathes life into this web. You matter, all of it, your life, your happiness, your expression, your experiences. Everything is here to teach you. Find what you are deeply connected to, like how I feel deeply connected to the land where I grew up. Find that which pulls on your heartstrings and moves you profoundly from a deep place. Then take that and bring that feeling into every facet of your body, mind, heart, and life that you possibly can. That is where the magic lies.
I know I will never live in that house or on that land again, but I can cultivate that feeling in my body until I become my ultimate happy place. Essentially, it is the heart that is our ultimate home. We are here to learn from our experiences. We are here to learn how to transmute our fears, our sorrows, our pain, and our trauma. We are here to learn how to utilize our full potential and to grow our capacities and abilities. We are like a flower that is meant to fully bloom - to exude the fullest expression of our essence.
We can struggle, or we can expand and grow. We can adopt the attitude that everything is here to help. We can cultivate gratitude and learn to shift our perspectives. It’s up to us individually; no one can make it happen but ourselves. We are so much more than anyone ever tells us. The more we remove the ashes and sweep away the dust, the deeper we lean into life, the more we build our trust and faith that everything is unfolding as it should - the more we thrive! We have the power and ability to create each moment of our life, and if we are not happy with our life, we can create something new.
We do not learn in school or from our loved ones and teachers, and friends about the truth of who we are and what we can do with our body, mind, and heart if we cultivate our innate qualities. Most people are not even aware that they have energy centers in their body or that they have not only a physical body but an emotional, mental, spiritual, etheric, and causal body too. We are vast and complex beings with unlimited potential. We are multidimensional and multifaceted, but we can not access all of that if we do not know it exists.
Most people have never even visited the inner planes; they do not trust their intuition, and they do not have an ongoing conversation with their bodies. We are taught that it’s not ok to talk to ourselves and that if we do, we are crazy. Most of what we are taught in life is absolute rubbish! We must deprogram ourselves and give up these illusions that keep us in bondage. We are here to learn the truth of who we are, and when we do that, we feed not only our individual awakening but the collective awakening as well. You are infinite, you are soul, but you have to embody yourself fully and commit to playing all in and full out without being codependent or detached. It is called the middle path. It is a path of balance beyond duality and polarity. We are here to master these things. Every experience in life, from the most mundane to the utterly profound and esoteric, is here to help us become masters of our own life.
May you find your home within. May you be the conscious creator of your life and destiny. May you learn to master the game of illusion. May you reach your fullest potential. May you be joyful and free. My prayer is that you have read something here that inspires you to be the most full expression of yourself that you can possibly be. Thank you for being here dear reader. You are loved, and you are soul!
At the end of every post, I write questions for you to contemplate, write about, or both. If you like this format, feel free to check out the creative activations within previous posts. I always include them at the end.
Do you feel at home within yourself? If so, or if not, please explain.
Are you comfortable in solitude? If not, why?
Are you your own best friend?
Do you have a daily practice of gratitude?
Do you realize that you are a spirit having a human experience? How do you know that?
Are you content with your life? What would you like to be different, and are you willing to do something about it? What are you willing to do, and what steps can you take to get there? When would you like to begin?
Do you make time to contemplate your life in solitude?
Do you talk to yourself? If not, why?
Do you talk to your body? If not, why?
Where do your beliefs come from? Are they original to you? Why do you believe what you believe?