Thursday, March 29, 2012

opening up.

Our first house was a snug little cottage tucked in a small canyon in the mountains of Utah.
We only lived there together for a few months.
I loved that little place with the three small bedrooms upstairs,
where you hit your head on the ceiling,
where there was no closet space.
dirty stairs and grease stained cabinets.
it was home.

But then we had to go to New York City and start a new life on the upper West side in a brownstone.
and my daughter slept on a pull out couch in the front room for 6 months
and we slept in the back bedroom where you could hear the neighbor practice her piano
and we watered the upstairs neighbor's plants while she was away
and had dinners with 80 year old Harmon Ashley.
he loved to hear my daughter laugh.

And there was a young lady, back in Utah.
and she was hurting ,and she needed a quiet place to stay...
So while we were in NY, starting our new life,
We let her stay in our home..our beloved home.
And she stayed there for a couple of weeks, and she told us it was the most peaceful place she had been and she thanked us.
And we were glad to serve her.

So we went back to Utah after the summer in NY to tie up loose ends there...it was a strange time in our lives.
And we walked in our beloved home and we noticed
small things like
popcorn on the floor
furniture in odd places
bed unmade.
dirt there that wasn't there before.

I was angry.
She took advantage of our hospitality and I was angry.
don't you know that you leave the place better than what you found it?
At least that is what my mother taught *me*.

and i felt violated, like i opened my heart and it got trampled on.

but my wise husband said:
"that's the chance you take when you share your home with someone."

and i never forgot those wise words.

for that is what happens when we open ourselves up: we take the chance it might get messy, that we might get hurt.


Loved this post: The Upside Down of Community by The Gypsy Mama. It prompted me to write this post.

5 comments:

Leigh said...

Dear Andrea,
I saw your bio on mom heart and thought I would come over and say "howdy neighbor."
I too live in the Lower Hudson Valley, after 20 yrs. in NYC I was ready for a more peaceful place!
I have been married for 23 yrs. and my hubby works on the UWS in NYC. I have 2 fantatic, smart, amazing, joy giving (um, you get the picture) girls.
Anyway, looking forward to getting to know you and enjoying your talent for writing.
Peace and Strength,
Leigh
Orange Co., NY

Children of Eve said...

Andrea-
That is a very, very wise thing your man said. It reminds me so much of what we have been talking about lately. How we can't expect others to act, think, or react the way we do, because they are not us. That is what grace is.
love you!

Christine said...

This is a beautiful, *open* post, Andrea. Love seeing your heart and your growth in this. xoxo

Famaddict said...

This is one of my favorite posts ever. I love your wisdom and your gentle way of sharing it.

betsy said...

The truth of generosity. The chance that it won't be appreciated. The reward in obeying when the Spirit moves. All lovely, difficult, beautiful, messy moments. What a journey it is...

I'm looking forward to reading through your blog.