Today is my last real day in the cabin. Tomorrow my family shows up to help me move all of my shit to either storage or the new home.
I’ve done most of the packing already; moved more, much more, of my belongings than I have remaining. The thing about packing is that it doesn’t leave time to just be; to stop and look around absorbing as much as I can of the goodness and serenity that this home has provided for me.
I’m so focused on the future, on the new place, that it detracts from the sorrow that comes with leaving a home that has been my refuge.
This cabin caught me when I was falling faster than the speed of sound. I was so lost and damaged and broken when I moved in.
Really, to be honest, when other people moved me in while I crumbled.
The day I moved out of my last home, the home that we shared together – MXB and my sons – was one of the saddest days I have ever survived.
My children helped then, but they too were broken. We were lost and scared and floundering. Tomorrow they will again help, but it will be with lighter hearts.
3 1/2 years ago when I moved, I was literally climbing over MXB’s shit that he left in the house when he bailed. Every time I carried boxes through the garage, I had to maneuver around his couch, his two freezers full of animals that he had killed, his ammo reloading table that he built and never used.
At one point that day, just to add insult to injury, she (the friend that was no longer a friend because she was the new love of his life) showed up on the ranch to drop something off for another resident. It was the first time I’d seen her since she blew up my world.
And on that painful, agonizingly heartbreaking day, she tore me a new asshole. She self-righteously shredded the last little bits of my soul.
Still not sure how her betrayal got twisted into being my fault, but she made me pay.
I lost my home, my friends, my sanity. My son almost died…and this cabin caught me. Healed me. Quieted my mind and gave my heart the space to repair, to become whole again.
It became my sanctuary.
These 800 square feet, my east wall of windows that brought the mountain peaks into my living room – made them my constant companions, the leather recliner in front of the woodstove, my deck under the stars: these are the bits of the cabin that gently held me while I clawed my way out of my pit of despair.
I can’t begin to count the hours spent curled up under a blanket in the chair, next to the fire, staring at the view, sporting the green hoodie that belonged to my dead best friend.
Deep, all-consuming, unadulterated, crippling grief.
In the early cabin days, every time I pulled into my driveway I thought, “Thank god I have this place.”
Each day since then, as I began to feel sane again, to feel happiness and joy and gratitude, I have said, over and over, “I love my home.”
As excited as I am to move to the desert and have a new adventure, I feel as if I am being kicked out of the nest.
And..I am ready. I’ve recovered.
I have changed. I am a different person than the one who took up residence here all of those years ago.
There is no way to survive what my family has been through without changing, without becoming new.
Or at least revised.
At Outward Bound we had a belief that we imparted upon our students…
‘Outward bound’ is a term that applies to ships – as a boat sails out of its safe harbor into the open seas, it is said to be outward bound. As we dragged kids up mountains and encouraged them to learn new life skills, we reminded them that their Outward Bound course really began when they got on the bus to return to the big wide world – taking with them all of the skills, knowledge, and self-awareness that they gained while with me for a month in the wilderness.
Tomorrow, I am outward bound.