It was covered in yellow vinyl siding suffocating the life and breath of it’s inner beauty. We rescued this 1940’s small two bedroom one bath family home both from the vinyl in the front and the ivy trying to crawl over it from the back in 1999 when it became ours. It was our first home that we owned after five years of marriage and our crazy Yiddish named cat, Schpilkas, found it for us. Schpilkas had been born across the street in the ivy at the neighboring school the year before. Our agent recommended we see this house and after my first drive by, I thought, ”YUCK! No parking, vinyl siding, horrid colors on the outside. I’m not even going inside.” Our agent insisted we go back together at the weekend open house and look. “It was perfect,” she said. So we went back and as we arrived, my now ex-husband says, “This is Schpilkas’s house!” (He was the one who got Schpilkas for me, as a Hanukkah gift). Well, that changed EVERYTHING. And this will give you some insight into the goofy mind of the Mother of The Mother Rising, me…Margaret. I was sold as soon as I heard this news. It was a sign! Are you kidding me? The cat picked our house! It was meant to be!!! It was all so very clear! And then for the practicalities…how much exactly did we need to overbid? We had to be sure we got this house! And we did.
And over the 12 years that the house has been ours it was transformed into our home and then transformed us into landlords when we rented it out after we moved away. This first home was the home of hand me down furniture and economic early family meals. It was where we became parents together of not one or two children but THREE! We wrestled in this house with ourselves, our egos, our souls…and my body (BIG, small, BIG, small, BIG, small). It was nursing bras and cotton underwear. This was not a home of silk and lace panties and camisoles. It was a home of struggle and hope. It was home of waiting for the toilet in our one bathroom. We fought heatedly and made our best attempts to set things straight both inside ourselves and with each other. We thought we were successful.
But what began as the deeply humbling experience of being a new Mom and losing my sense of identity crying often while watching the father of my children drive off to work blossomed into my journey of self-discovery and an ability to begin weaving my own web. My web was perfect, but if I continued trying to weave it during the thundershower of my marriage, it would not continue to hold. I was all intention and affirmation, and he was all equations and politics. I had tossed a stone into a still pond and the ripples of the depth of my connection to my divine purpose and spirituality were not sustainable in the family and marital dynamic we had both co-created.
And so I chose to begin dismantling the relationship, as I knew it. At first thought I could just remodel it a bit like the house, but I think I took out some major load bearing walls and realized it simply was not a possibility. It was my hope to transform what we had into something totally different. A partnership where we could be on equal footing to raise our beautiful children together even if it was from separate homes with completely different styles. And then we both spiraled into what almost seemed oblivion where there was no light and no hope and despair and darkness and tears never ending. It was fighting for ourselves and our children and insanity. It was horrible and terrible and everything remotely awful all mixed into the most foul smelling odor that seemed at times to permeate every waking breath of our lives.
We jointly decided in the midst of this that the house needed to be sold. Our house…ok, our rental house. But somehow we had to come together to do this. And to my surprise, somehow we did! Somewhere in the midst of giving our tenants notice, signing documents and not signing documents and agreeing and disagreeing and paying bills and reimbursing one another, we both began to REALLY dislike our real estate agent! It was crazy, but for some reason this coupled with some success in our co-parent counseling sessions seemed to bring us spiraling back upward once again.
Yesterday, at the time of the solar eclipse, I went back to our house for one last goodbye. The staging items were still there and it had a happy feeling even if the outside paint had been drastically changed to be the exact opposite of what we had infused during our ownership. The bright Mediterranean green, orange and purple were gone and replaced by mint and white. But there was a calm feeling inside and out. I brought champagne and toasted with a friend and two neighbors. I poured champagne over the place where the placenta of our middle child had been buried nearly ten years ago. I made sure to walk one last time into each room sending good wishes and blessings for the new family that will be coming there to live as new owners within the next week. And I tossed near to the last bit of champagne around the front entrance symbolic of an offering for prosperity and abundance for them as well.
Each journey is cyclic in nature. And so the changing of ownership from our hands to the hands of a new couple with an eighteen month old toddler marks a cycle of completion as well as a new beginning. I took the remaining champagne and poured it over the secret places for where I plan my new life…my new journey, my new adventure. I am happy that there is a space of calm in color for the house and for the new family….but watch out everyone because me and my crazy colored mischief will put our hands on shaping the most incredible space to reside. The journey will be sacred, but with a big hunk of dark chocolate because a “sacred journey”, well even a regular old trip to the grocery store should not be done without chocolate. I look forward to you joining me on my next journey as it unfolds here at The Mother Rising.
(Note to reader: The picture on associated with this blog is the original “Mother Rising” sign that I had hanging outside of the office in which I slept. My children colored it for me. This was one of the many visual cues I had posted to remind me of who I was in the midst of the insanity of my transformation.)