Friday, August 16, 2013

Senses Placed

"Can I help you?" A woman's voice called out from behind the row of bushes separating the gravel road that ran parallel to her driveway.

"Um, yes.... I think..." Clearing throat, choking back tears. "I mean... I used to live here...."

Heart-flutter-what-is-this-feeling? ~ wide-eyed holding-breath ~ slow-motion movement. An invitation to come over, walk in. And then, now, I am in the place I spent my first five years of life. Home. As if I had never left.

So much the same, in excruciating detail -- the five-paneled wood front door, the kitchen windows over the sink that used to cloud up when Mom and Grandma Ruby canned all the fruit from the orchard trees and the vegetables from the huge one-acre garden that is now a horse pasture. The step-up now twice-as-large bathroom with the tub where I split open my tiny chin. The insanely bright green paint, now relegated to closet walls only, of the back bedroom where I used to hide under the heavy massive wooden desk. The porch that was then an off-limits deteriorating grapevine-wrapped threat, now sturdy and wide-view open. 

So CLEAR. And upstairs -- the staircase, so much shorter and less steep than what I remember, leading to the bathroom straight ahead. The same wallpaper!? Pink flowers in a dusty green stripe! What my mother installed when, as very young parents, they converted the entire upper story of this house to a bathroom and two bedrooms.

Turn left...

Our little-girl-sister haven. The same purple carpet -- then SO brand new and bright and exciting because it matched our butterfly wallpaper -- THERE! a corner where other wallpaper is stripped away, almost-ancient butterflies now peeking through. Our twin windows, mine then wrapped in pink gingham with sister-yellow across the room, looking out over the garden where I spent large swaths of time watching for deer (and oh did they come).

I didn't remember that I remembered until I was there again.

And there it is -- the swelling realization that all that's been important to me was birthed here. A big sapphire ocean wave of reality (on this coast, to me, it is not the sea, it is ocean), slowly climbing, protective hovering, delaying its thunderous crash, holding for me the immense and powerful held-breath truth: This was the beginning of my Sacred. The unique-to-the-west-coast crunch crunch crunch of sandy semi-pathways under my feet, the prolific but not smothering-everything plantlife, the spitting gravel under car tires few and far between, the arching view of other dark-gray-green Oregon trees and hillsides, the open azure sky scuttled with cotton clouds. Fresh, fresh, fresh air. Deep breathing openness.

The joy in all things handmade, deep and wide and natural-flow quiet, the slower life where the internet was not my fuel. The good-for-me food prepared by hand, even the boxed granola I ate - adamantly - with hot water instead of cold milk on dark mornings. The promise of lizards out on the woodpile, blackberries behind the concrete pad of the not-erected-yet garage, the sound of Cat Stevens on the stereo, the Christmases of dolls and Emergency! ViewMasters. Boundless awareness.

Oh my heart. This is different from Colorado. At least for now. This is my soul, deeper even.

Here you go, it says, here is your Big Something. Go, Do and Be, now that you remember. Come back, return, come home. Rejoin this journey.

Reach into that comforting plush softness and gently pull it forward, link it carefully to the oft-harder-edged Present. Not out of desperation, but out of completing some circle of silver and gold and light that along the way got hidden behind LED screen windows. Click click (not) click for Essence. Click, in place.

Another imperfect post, accompanied by:
Cat Stevens -- Greatest Hits (the cover of him drawn on a white flag against a blue cloud-studded sky? Yeah, that one)
Popular posts:
Sense of Place
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Trista Hill is a professional harpist and fine artist, creativity coach, educator in the arts, and Board-Certified Music Therapist. What her formal degrees in music and art gave her pale in comparsion to the gifts she's experienced in working with creatives just like you. Visit her website — — for links to her blog, performances, and other fantastical creative offerings. 


  1. So beautifully spoken, Trista. I love your voice. I have a class reunion in September and have been playing with the idea of walking up to the door of the home where I lived from age 8 to 18 . . . and saying, "I used to live here!" I think you have just given me the nudge I need. I'll keep you posted.
    Thanks for this blog. Love it!
    Kathleen Cadmus

    1. Oh, Kathy - thank you for sharing your voice here, too. I can't wait to hear about your visit to your past home. So interesting what happens when we see something we think we know from a different perspective! Can't wait to hear what comes up for you.