In July, this perpetual pilgrim was once again on the road for the first time in a year and a half. Oh, there were a couple of short driving trips but nothing that required more than a duffle bag. So, I brushed the dust off of my carry-on and tried to remember how to pack again. My exciting destination—Alexandra’s new apartment in California. My first trip was a working trip to get her settled after living on the farm for fifteen months. I can’t say that it was the most thrilling and inspirational destination but there was a purpose and a goal and that was to make Alexandra’s first real home her own. Since I’m really a homebody myself, I wanted her to have the space she needed to feel nurtured and supported after a busy day of work.
Alexandra found a new apartment when she went back to California in May. Her old micro apartment was way too small and the neighborhood was no longer safe. She was relieved to move right away and make plans for a home big enough for a table and chairs and, more importantly, a cat. She came back to Tennessee long enough to gather the new-to-her furniture she needed, some beloved family heirlooms and get it all loaded on a truck heading to LA.
I flew out just in time to meet the movers and start the challenging but satisfying task of unpacking and making a home. First there was a lot of painting—yes I painted all the walls with the help of a good audiobook. Then I painted two big bookshelves since she has inherited her parents’ obsession with reading and needed lots of space to put her beloved collection. Meanwhile, her newly adopted cat, Rufus, was settling into his forever home.
Each day I worked and gradually got things in their place and boxes out the door. Everyday there was a bit more space to move about. I finally finished all the painting and had a couple of days to relax and enjoy the beautiful summer weather. There were long walks along flower-lined streets, a trip to the beach, a massage and a visit to The Getty Art Museum to see the gardens and illuminated manuscripts. I read a lot and played with my grandcat Rufus. I entertained myself while Alexandra had to work overtime on a big project. Each day she came home to see the progress and talk about changes in her job and life in general. I cherished those moments at her new dining table to talk and plan.
It was a lot of work and I really don’t love painting but I wanted Alexandra to have the home of her dreams that would bring her comfort and joy. The ultimate goal of a pilgrimage is to come home and integrate the experience into your everyday life. Home nurtures our soul and supports our journey to the next adventure into the world.