Home is where the Heart Is

May 07, 2016 2 Comments

Home is where the Heart Is

“Home” is a concept that I have struggled with for much of my life, most notably when someone asks me where I am from. 

I was born in Germany. I have American parents who moved from California (via Germany) to England where I grew up. After college I in turn fell in love with an American and followed him back to California. 

My mother wanted to be far from her family and wore her independence as a badge of honor but not having family around has always been a great source of pain for me. I often felt envious of those who did have family near them and who (at least by all outside appearances) had a sense of place and of belonging, not to mention the support and helping hands with raising a family. 

Currently, other than my husband and children, I have no relatives within a 2500 mile radius. Family patterns have a way of repeating themselves.

For our first 20 years together we moved 5 times. Five different towns. Each time, I tried to settle, to put down roots. Each time I planted a garden but never got to see them flourish. Usually, without too much warning, the inevitable chaos that precedes change would begin to show itself and we would uproot and move on. I’m no stranger to change.

When we bought our current home in Maine in 2010 I was determined that we would stay put. Not having family around exacerbated my sense of loneliness and isolation especially as we now had our own children to raise. I wanted to put down strong roots, build community and to give them a place to call home. I wanted to seed my own story of belonging. 

Rosemary was my first new garden addition. A housewarming gift for myself and a blessing for a warm, happy hearth and home. Rosemary is so easy to love. Every time I passed by I couldn’t help but gently run my hands over her branches, releasing her magical scent and breathing it deep into my bones. Whatever I was (rushing around) doing she could stop me in my tracks and for a blissful moment I would be fully present, fully embodied—secure, warm and comfortable in my home—my body. Rosmarinus officinalis, “dew of the sea,” and I bonded instantly.

Every fall, in order to survive the harsh Maine winters I have to dig her up and bring her in a pot indoors. A labor of love for sure as over the years she grew into a good size shrub which required some serious muscle to lift and move. Transitioning indoors was not something she tolerated particularly well. I guess like anyone really, when faced with change. Change is uncomfortable. It takes time to settle and adjust, and that’s assuming your pot is a good fit. 

I can totally relate to the discomfort.

Rosemary Sketch

I love my current home and my garden I have been tending. I am growing familiar with the contours of the land. I know where to soak up sunbeams on a chilly morning and where the shadows cast shade on a hot summer day. This acre and I are getting to know each other intimately. The children are settled. We have friends. It’s all good...except the little problem of my husband’s work, or lack of work that is. Turns out the yacht design industry isn’t flourishing as we had hoped in this neck of the woods. The discomfort and fear of uncertainty is always bubbling beneath the surface. 

It is winter. I’m cold. Rosemary and I sit together looking out the window to the frozen landscape beyond. My mind is churning with random worries and my body tense and uncomfortably cold. She offers a leaf to nibble and I allow the warmth and heady aroma to slowly quiet my inner grumblings. I just want to feel settled, secure, at home. Is that too much to ask?

“Home is where the heart is,” she whispers, or rather shouts, since we have been through this before, many times.

Rosemary reminds me, again and again, that sense of place I'm longing for—that home I desire—is in my heart. Inside me. Home is LITERALLY where your heart is.

She reminds me to come home to myself. To pause my worrying and what if’s and be fully present in my body. Fully here on this Earth. Now. That is the reminder. The clarity. There is no security otherwise. 

I may never see this garden flourish but if I keep seeking outside of myself for my sense of home I’m not sure I will ever find that peace that I am looking for. 🌸

Dig deeper with Rosemary (CLARITY) here.

2 Responses

Alexandra Engle
Alexandra Engle

July 26, 2022

I so identify with this, dear one, having walked a similar path. Homesickness is my middle name, but I have managed to make peace with it by making my home, wherever I am, a comforting nest. I’m not even sure anymore that the home I so long for is of this earth. Thank you for sharing a little of your story. There must be so many of us bearing the same burden. Your beautiful oracle cards bring me such reassurance and comfort.


December 19, 2018

I am so glad to read your blog. It is written so openhearted and warmharted.
thankyou for sharing your personal experiences and insights.

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