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The Whole World That is Home

By KM Huber

It is revealing how far one will travel only to discover that one was always home. For me, it is always a return to the reality of everywhere I go, there I am.

The last time was just a few months ago, a physical distance of over 2000 miles, and a trip in the making for many years. I flew across the United States, leaving the subtropical climate of the American South for the high plains desert of the American West.

It is no exaggeration to say that I went from sea level to a mile high in a matter of hours, and in my excitement, I never noticed for it had been so many years since I had visited what was once home.

Of course, there is no way to prepare for such a trip home, even one without such altitude extremes for what was home is now another place entirely with a life and tempo all its own.

“lift the veil
that obscures the heart
and there
you will find
what you are looking for”
~Kabir (India, 15th century)~

A visit to what was once home requires us to open our eyes to what “our hometown” is now, a place we no longer call home and a place that no longer calls to us, save in memory. That is the veil we lift if we are to experience home at all.

There are streets not much changed and others completely new but already familiar to those who now make this town their home. There are new houses with new lives, making memories, and old houses no longer in evidence, not even a brick or board, but in memory they never age.

The hours I spent in my former hometown— long enough to see the sun set and rise—was a constant barrage of sixties moments competing with the growth that marks us all, the march of time. The torrent of memories cascaded into the next few days, as I drove across one state into another, all familiar roads like the town that once was home.
Wyoming rock face 0413

For over four decades, the wide-open, windy vistas of the American West defined me–birth, youth, adulthood, and most of middle age—place was prominent in my life that was, often the only anchor in tempest-tossed seas.

It is not lost on me that I mix the imagery of that past life–so arid and wild–with the life I have now, not as wild nor arid at all.

The place that I call home has changed from desolate, vast plains and mountain slopes of snow to the verdant green carpet surrounding Waverly pond as well as the Gulf of Mexico, blue beneath towering palms. And I have changed with it.

Now a sexagenarian, home is among the Live Oaks draped with moss, creating one canopy road after another. In every season, something blooms or yet another color emerges in the ever-changing foliage.

There is lushness in my later years and for me, that is as it should be. I came late to the realization of “If you look for the Truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away” (Tung Shan).

Yet, without those early years of traversing the high plains desert that held my heart, I might never have realized that what I sought was always within me.

My trip home, these many years later, confirmed a life lived is just that, which is a lot. Driving across the desert plains in spring, I saw that old life in every sagebrush stock, rock outcropping, or hogback hill that whisked by my window. It all passed so quickly—just as it had when I lived it–vast and sweeping but complete in itself.

“The whole world is you,
yet you keep thinking
there is something else.”
~ Hsueh Feng~

What is inside each one of us is the whole world that is each one of us. What is inside us colors the way we are in the world, for our everyday lives are a mere reflection of what is in our hearts.

The two regions I have called home are worlds apart geographically and geologically, and I am grateful for the gifts of each, for only now is home no longer a location but the whole world that I am in any place, in any moment.

*******************************

KM Huber is a writer who learned Zen from a beagle. She believes the moment is all we ever have, and it is enough. In her early life as a hippie, she practiced poetry, and although her middle years were a bit of a muddle, she remains an overtly optimistic sexagenerian, writing prose. She blogs at kmhubersblog.com, may be followed on Twitter @KM_Huber or contacted by email at writetotheranch[at]gmail[dot]com.

© 2013 KM Huber. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.


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