“One never reaches home. But where paths that have an affinity for each other intersect, the whole world looks like home, for a time.”
– Hermann Hesse
Back in 1988, within my first week in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I found a room to rent in an adobe house at the end of a long dirt road. Debra, my new housemate, showed me to a furnished room with a high ceiling with old wooden beams. In the corner a pile of small logs sat on the earth colored tile floor next to a beehive shaped kiva fireplace.
I took my time exploring Santa Fe. In the mornings I sat in bookstores and cafes, talked with locals, and posted notices for massage clients on bulletin boards. In the afternoons I hiked in the mountains. Sometimes the clouds gathered and let loose with a deluge of rain and the air filled with the pungent smell of sage after the passing storm. On the weekends I found random catering work.
On Sunday mornings I joined Debra at an alternative church called The Celebration. Newly started by Carol Bell Knight, the focus of the service was to celebrate life through music. I met Julie there and told her I was looking for work. “I know a woman who’s looking for volunteers for the summer at a retreat she’s set up in Colorado,” she said.
“What’s the name of the place?”
“The Blue Mountain Center. It’s run by Verna Yater, a spiritual healer and life coach. Her work focuses on helping people become the best versions of themselves they can be.”
“I’ve met Verna. I went to one of her personal transformation workshops when we both lived in Santa Barbara. She told me about the Colorado project and I felt drawn to it. As much as I’d liked to go to Colorado this summer, I have to say no. I’ve just settled in and I want to stay focused on making a home here.”
When Debra and I returned home she went to listen to the messages on her answering machine. A few minutes later she came into my bedroom with a sad look on her face. “That was the landlord. He’s decided to sell the house. My lease is up at the end of June and he wants us out by then. I’m sorry.”
And with that news Santa Fe spit me out.