When I was about 8 or 9 years old my family went on holiday to the coast. It was only a couple of years after my dad had passed on so this was a trip where my extended family decided to go together… my mum, my brother and I, plus my nan and step-grandad and my cousin (the latter three all gone back to Source now).
This was the last holiday I remember knowing how to fully immerse myself in childlike play, it seemed to be a skill I began to lose after that, but for this trip to California Sands (actually in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and nowhere near the glamour capital of the USA), I was still happy to be just a kid riding round on bikes we hired and spending hours splashing in the pool.
Almost very child undergoes the right of passage of feeling lost and frightened. For many it’s that point where they turn around in the supermarket and mum isn’t on the same aisle anymore, moments later panic sets in, loud cries ensue and mum comes running back around the corner… mum is your safety place… after all when you’re that small you have no idea how to get home! I didn’t have the supermarket experience though, I had the holiday park experience.
I was rubbish at direction, usually because I wasn’t paying attention to much besides how much I was enjoying life and being in the moment, my brother on the other hand, he’s is the most practical minded Capricorn I’ve ever met, so 3 kids out on bikes exploring the holiday park was easy… back in 1980, kids were allowed to play out and explore, doors still weren’t locked, and nobody worried if you were gone for more than 3 seconds…
I couldn’t pedal as quickly as my brother and cousin and besides, who wants to race and miss out on the scenery? (Wisdom for life right there). So my focus is on the trees, the glorious summer sunshine and the… er? Um…?….surprisingly similar chalets… row after row after row… and where is my big brother?
Now I’m 9. Screaming and crying is not an option (so not cool) unless I fall off the bike and break something… but I don’t know this place… at least back in Sheffield I would know the way home by the familiar landmarks. I continued riding around for what seemed like an eternity up and down rows of holiday cabins but the one where my family was did not appear. If mum is home, I couldn’t find her.
After the longest time and rising internal panic, (actually no more than around 20 mins), brother came bombing it around the corner on his bike followed moments later by my cousin, sent by my mum to find out where I had gotten to, to guide me in like tug boats leading a ship into harbour… I didn’t show the panic, I allowed them to believe I had been exploring the site and taking in the scenery… but in that one afternoon, my fear of not finding the way home was born.
As an adult I’ve learned that home is not a place or a person, it is a recognition of something much deeper, a knowing and a belief in one’s ability to survive, to rebuild and to create connections wherever I am. It’s a remembrance of my divine origin and that home is wherever I make it, with whomever I make it.
My sense of direction still isn’t much better, I navigate via angels these days, but my sense of home, though occasionally tainted by a 9 year old’s fearful memories, has expanded to include all of creation.
Principle 1: I AM God (and I can never be separated from that).
More later… x