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Karen M. Black
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Back to the Water cover

A daughter's tale of truth, love and letting go

Moondance cover

An addictive spin on awakening, soulmates and past lives

The secret to happiness: Create the feeling of Home everywhere you go

“Home is where the heart is.”
– Pliny the Elder

For the past six months months, I had been running ragged: finding a home, selling my condo, packing, buying a new car and moving. When I wasn't breaking down boxes so they could be taken away, I was on long phone calls with a new corporate client: a great project, but with a mind-bendingly technical learning curve.

I was happy, but stressed and bone-tired. The nails on my hands were split and unmanicured, and my feet were dry and rough.

To support awakening of intuition: notice the energy

It was bitter cold that day and it got dark at 5:00 p.m. I recalled a cheap'n cheerful nail place across from the grocery store. I called – they took last minute walk ins.

This little nail place isn't fancy. In fact, it's rather stark. It has a television going near the ceiling in the corner, like what I've seen in doctor's offices. Strangely, I felt comfortable there. I noticed small things: they had a good line of polish. A great selection of colours. Skin products I'd purchased myself. And quiet.

I was introduced to Vicki, who was originally from Korea and her English was a bit hesitant. She was sweet. I told her I had just moved into the area and I was giving myself a treat. She told me that she had just moved here too.

Trust your intuition... speak your truth

I relaxed into my last-minute birthday treat. Vicki was soft spoken, yet her humour came through. After choosing a colour, I slipped my feet into the warm water and we slipped into a comfortable silence.

60 minutes later, my toes were soft and tingling and Vicki moved me to the chair where she'd polish my fingers. I was feeling very relaxed and open. The thought came to me: I was here with strangers, alone, on my birthday. I'd leave here and eat dinner by myself. Yet I'm not alone.

“It's my birthday today,” I confessed.

“Happy birthday!” Vicki said with a smile, massaging my hands. “Now you'll be ready for your husband to take you out tonight!”

“No husband,” I said. “I moved here to find one!” and she laughed. “Here in this small town? Me too!” she joked. We slipped into silence again. She moved from finger to finger, her head down, clipping, finishing one finger, onto the next.

She looked up and to the left, as if deciding something.

“I had a husband. He left. Well – he died.” She paused, glancing up from my fingers into my eyes, but just for a moment. I nodded.

“Last summer, I was in Korea. He died while I was gone. It happened quickly.” She applied polish, efficient, studying my hands finger to finger.

Then my father. He died 6 weeks after my husband. I moved here to be with my friend,” she glanced at the woman who owned the salon.

Are you open to unexpected heart connections?

Vicki gently pushed my hands under the dryer and moved away, tidying up. Warm air blew on my hands. She drained the water, gathered together the tools she used on me, slipping them into a sterilizing solution.

She was on the other side of the room, putting the polish back on its shelf. “I'm okay. It's hard sometimes. But I try not to be sad. I'm Buddhist, so that helps.” My hand dryer stopped. I touched the polish on my fingers and then my toes: it had set.

Vicki turned me in my chair. She crouched down to help me on with my socks and shoes, so I didn't mess up the polish. “I know they wouldn't want me to be sad and I try to be happy, but sometimes. Sometimes it's hard.”

After I left Vicki, I had dinner at a pizza place which has been operating here for 40 years. I ordered. I watched as a mother and daughter ate in silence. A smiling waitress brought my food. A couple came in for dinner, blustering from the cold. On my right, teenagers split a large pizza and beer. I ate and it was good.

As I waited for the cheque, I supported my head in my hands. I looked out into a dark, unfamiliar street, and beyond that, a bitter cold. Tears were quietly welling up. This wasn't loneliness, quite the opposite. It was connectedness. I was grateful for meeting Vicki. It felt right to be living here.

Is your true heart connected to your home?

As I write this first draft, Vicki's polish is still in place. When I'm done writing, I'm going to shut down my computer and make up three beds for the first guests I'll host in my new home. A 20, a 30 and a 40-year old friendship.

Earlier in our lives, I was the one who entertained. I used to feed and host 20 people for the weekend! I used to relish planning, and cooked (literally) sometimes until 1:00 a.m. Then things changed. Life happened. Partners, families, priorities. It was harder and harder to get people together. So I stopped.

This year, my friends fed me. They traveled out of town, leaving their partners and families. They brought food and wine. They gave me a beautiful gift that fits perfectly in my new kitchen “just because it was beautiful”.

We chatted like old friends do. We ate a meal. We marveled at how we've changed since the time we met, yet how we've also grown together, too. We slept. We woke and shared breakfast. We hugged goodbye.

After months of uncertainty, change and disruption, my new house is on its way to becoming a home. My past and my future is coming together to create something new. True friendships. Real moments. And space for lots more...

You see, you're never really alone. Not really. Knowing this is the secret to happiness. As long as you bring your heart with you, you have the potential to discover Home in the moment... everywhere, in unexpected people and places. If you're open to it.

Meaning of life articles for your heart. Created with love.

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