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Home – where your slippers are beyond compare

You come up over a slight rise just before the turn off to Laguna Quays and Midge Point – and there before you are the beautiful Goorganga Plains resplendent with waterlily filled lagoons and beautiful grassland. As long as I can remember – since my childhood that sight has brought back to me a great sense of ‘home’. I get a similar feeling as you turn off the Bruce Highway – down the main street of Proserpine and into Faust Street. When I see the water tower and the coconut and mango trees surrounding the family home, ‘The Grange’ I know I am home.

There is an old saying, ‘Home is where the heart is!’ We need to have times and places in our lives where we can feel ‘at home’. This ‘at homeness’ takes several forms. We need to have a physical place where we can relax, flop around and just be ourselves. This is a place where we don’t need to work too hard to be ourselves, where relationships are old, tried, tested and authentic and where we are accepted ‘warts and all’. My old family home in Proserpine is such a place, especially while my mother Zena was still alive. I can remember when I left the Christian Brothers for a time coming ‘home’ concerned with what my mother might think – what a fool I was. Zena just gave me a hug and everything she said and did over the coming days simply said, “Damien, as long as you are happy!”

We all have our other physical ‘at home’ places and times. For me it is walking the beach, any beach, hiking in the middle of a forest or above the tree line or sharing a cuppa and story with friends.

We need to be ‘at home’ professionally. Everyone of us has some work, some art, some skill or passion, something which we alone can give expression to. For some of us this is our job, for some it is our hobby, for some it is where we find life and energy. This space gives our life meaning and purpose. Some come alive when as a barrister they argue a case, some reach for colours and make a canvas come to life, some break bread with the homeless while others have a love affair with their land – their farm, knowing its rhythms and seasons and how to caress it into life. We know we are ‘at home’ in this space when we find ourselves in our ZONE. My two older brothers Simon and Tony are like this when they are telling or writing a story. I come alive when I am facilitating a process with a group.

We need to be ‘at home’ within ourselves – “to thine own self be true!” We need to be ‘at home’ personally. This is, in some ways, the hardest one of all. Can you look in the mirror and like what you see? Can you be one with your inner rhymes and rhythms? Can you live with no regrets, no ‘if only’ and no ‘I wish I had’? Sure, we all have these – but we didn’t – so move on and embrace life as it is for you NOW. Can you befriend your shadow (we all have them), celebrate your uniqueness and your giftedness and dance in whatever way you are meant to dance.

Another way of saying that we need to be ‘at home’ personally is to frame it in terms of spirituality. Can we be ‘at home’ spiritually. Spirituality is how and where and when we find meaning within. Does your unique spirit dance or drag? Celebrated or denied? Do we embrace life with its birthing and dying, its letting go and its embracing, its yearning and its resigning armed with belief, hope and resultant joy and peace? If we can dance our dance, write our poem, sing our song, or craft our adventure we WILL be ‘at home’ emotionally. If we can do this we will be embracing our instrument in the symphony we call ‘life’.

None of the above just happens. Some say the longest journey is the journey within. An adventure! A one step at a time stepping out (inwardly) sometimes to a mountain vista, sometimes to dense fog, sometimes with soul and spirit companions and sometimes alone. This adventure is full of twists and turns, confusion and uncertainty, uphill climbs and downhill slides – that’s why we call it adventure. We will have good days and bad days, better days, and best days. Sometimes we have a map, sometimes a compass, but often we set out simply with our hearts longing, a gut intuition, or a faint glow on the horizon. But set out we must, or we will grow old by yesterday’s fires, false certainties and eyes that lose the sparkle of the adventurer, the lover or the life embracing ‘fool’.

Yes friends, to thine own self be true, and you’ll be ‘at home’ within and around in the most beautiful of ways.

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