She is coming home today.
Since she came into creation four years ago, she has hung in my office, a reminder to always give voice — to truth, kindness, compassion, justice, integrity.
Today she comes home.
There are fewer than a handful of paintings I’ve created that I am not willing to part with. She is one of them.
I call her my Spirit Voice.
She sings to my heart, my body, my soul, my spirit to always speak up. To not give into the voices of doubt, criticism, fear.
To sing, loud and clear (or as clear as my voice will sing — but there’s no judgement with Spirit Voice so clearly I sing!) To call out to my dreams, to the Universe, to all who will listen to come, join me on this field of possibility where we can dance together in a world of love, harmony and joy.
Today I begin to dismantle my office. In its coming apart I come together with my dreams of next steps, future visions. Rejuvenation.
Today, I dismantle one space to begin the creation of a new space where my world becomes a daily leap into the world of possibiity, setting off landmines of opportunity with every step.
I have loved my work. Loved the opportunity to give back to community and to those for whom poverty and homelessness have stolen so much.
I too once felt the despair of losing everything. I too was lost.
It took a community to bring me back to life. I am grateful to have been part of that community for others.
And, while my retirement from the formal work force doesn’t mean an end of that work, it does mean a change. A change I cannot at this point see, nor wish to discern.
I am entering my last four days of ‘formal work’. I stand in this liminal space and draw in a deep breath of gratitude.
Over 13 years ago, I stepped into an office at a homeless shelter and began this part of my working journey. Being a voice for those whose voices have been drowned out by the harshness and challenges of homelessness has been one of the greatest and most humbling opportunities I have ever had in my working career.
During that time I have been gifted with hearing and carrying countless stories of those who were swept away by the raging waters of homelessness only to find themselves safely on shore because of the countless many who line the banks and wade into the waters to help them reach the safety of solid ground.
And, during that time, I have been changed by ‘the work’.
Changed and moved. Humbled. Broken. Healed. Forever made better as a human being.
Working in the homeless-serving sector has taught me about true compassion. It has taught me that we are not our differences. We are all connected through this condition we call being human. It has taught me about judgement. Privilege. Scarcity. Humility. Courage. Strength. Hope. Love.
And, it has taught me about our human will to live.
When I first started working in this sector people always asked me, “Isn’t it depressing?”
“No,” I’d reply. “Every morning hundreds of people whose lives I may not understand awaken and get up and take another step and another. I may not always agree with the steps they take, but every one of those steps is a testament to their fight for their life and their will to live. That is inspiring.”
She is coming home today. My Spirit Voice.
With her home-coming I carry with me all my hopes and dreams, aspirations and ideas for what my future will look like.
No matter what I do, what happens, what dreams may come, I will carry with me always the lessons I’ve learned, the stories I’ve heard and the people I’ve met who have made my life so incredibly rich, vibrant and fulfilling.
I am grateful.
The reference to ‘Little One” is an ode to my father whose nickname for me as a young girl was, “Little One.”