I’m sitting here in my kitchen, feeling my home as an energy system. It breathes with me. It holds me. It holds anyone who is invited to enter it. 26 Beston Street or Rosehip26 – that’s its name.
I asked my real estate friend to keep an eye out for me – in town – so Frances could walk to school. It came fast – too soon really. It was our home – no question. Built in 1860 by Irish immigrants who came for a better life, on a quiet dead end street, in town. With low ceilings, painted floors and a sagging front porch, it had its own story. It was loved. I bought the fixer-upper in summer 2014, with big life changes underway. Selling a house, buying a house, swinging loans and payments and lawyers, while working, being a mom and grieving the end of my life as I had known it – uncomfortable. I operated on instinct, from the gut. Everything fell into place. The earth came up to meet my bare foot with each step.
I’ve lived here since January 2015, after a six month renovation. Frances and I lived in someone else’s home during that time – a rental down the street – surrounded by their things, their pictures, their artifacts, their books on healing and contemplation. I felt like I was supposed to read those books. I saw them on the shelves but didn’t touch them. I peeked into the meditation room, with butterflies and a walking stick, but didn’t meditate. All our things were in storage. It was a waiting period – like our lives were in suspension. We couldn’t move from one life to the next without a period of pause – almost like a suspended inhale.
During the renovation, the craftsmen discovered artifacts in the walls – two short canes, ice skate blades, a tiny book of the New Testament, a photograph of a gentleman, a glass half pint bottle. History held in bones. Held in cell structure. Artifacts capturing an experience - An image. Recreation. A support. Nourishment. Spiritual guidance.
As emotions and pains are shed, the movement becomes literal and shows itself in some way – The house takes on what I release and physically manifests it before it is released. The house makes sure I catch the drift -- making sure the lesson is learned. It’s showing me my progress as if it were cinema or a narrative. This summer the house got infested with fleas. It needed clearing out – a daily removal of dust, debris, fleas and their eggs. It needed professional support. All Air BnB reservations were cancelled. No visitors. It was gross. It gave us the shivers. An empty house that needed space clearing and focused attention. No one wanted to be there.
Pondering the house as a living organism with its energy system, we start with the root chakra – Muladhara – the base chakra. Its element is earth and color red. The foundation. I go down to the basement and see the root chakra, smell the root chakra. The floor is literally earth – a dirt floor. There is a french drain and when water rises up from the earth, a pump flushes it outside into the neighboring wetland. It’s wet down there and dark and scary. When I made the house renovation photo album, I had a photo down the dark stairs with the caption “Never going down there.” Haha – how untrue those words were. “Down there” was exactly where I needed to go and I needed to spend some time down there – precisely because it was dark and wet and scary. But when you walk back to shut off the hose for the winter or to bring up an old paint can, there really isn’t anything to be afraid of down there. The old foundation is made of stones and brick. It’s solid. It’s earth. This past month, each week I brought up one old can of dried-up paint – slowly moving what is no longer needed from the darkness below. Clearing out the root cellar chakra a little bit at a time. There are several cans still down there. They aren’t all empty. They aren’t ready to be discarded. Chakra clearing was also physically manifested this summer, when buzzing yellow hornets built a nest by the outdoor shower in a crack in the foundation. When the shower water naturally and peacefully ran into the crack, where the nest was, the hornets buzzed angrily and aggressively dove at anyone out there. They went on attack. I had the foundation cracks filled in so the angry hornets would move on to the flowers, the trees, the grasses and earth. And they did. Firming up the foundation helped them dissipate. Free and on their way, without dive-bombing unsuspecting, innocent people.
The second chakra is the Sacral Chakra – Svadhisthana. The element is water and the color orange. This chakra is about sexuality and pleasure but also materialism and overindulgence. Frances invited me to be vegan with her for a school project in this house, bonding over missing cheese and butter – and it stuck – going on three years. Alcohol left two years ago. Using food as medication has moved to food as meditation but will always be one of my harder edges. I feel the emotional fluctuations. Waters ebb and flow, the power of tides and their connection to the moon. Darkness comes in, I retreat and rest and then return outside to the stars, our healing garden, for nourishment and strength, when the moon pulls me back out. I’m a Pisces – a water person. My photographs are shifting shapes of water, depending on time, tide and weather. It represents power and depth, the subconscious. It changes right before our eyes. I love swimming in water and in emotions. As a child, I would dream that I could breathe underwater and explore its depths. The houses’ physical manifestation appeared as dark, black spots of mold on the downstairs bathroom ceiling where the water vapor couldn’t escape. It hung there, suspended in space, like a cloud or a fog. They represented blockage, no movement and shallow breath. The inhale of an exhaust fan and an open window did the trick, learning how to breathe deeply and regularly.
The solar plexus chakra, navel center is Manipura – Fire. The color is yellow. I can hear my teacher’s voice - “Manipura!” He says it with enthusiasm – that’s the power of the navel center. Manipura! That’s where we get our conviction, our “keep up” spirit and drive. This is the fire in the belly – passion. The Manipura can link with the ego and impact the state of mind – anxiety, worry and fear. I’m careful to protect my energy field, hosting so many visitors and inviting energies into the home. Smudging with sage frequently and clearing energy in the rooms calms my own nerves and helps move any lingering energy that the house doesn’t need and that we might confuse with our own.
Yellow, as it turns out relates to the mind. It carries positive currents. I’ve pondered why different colors attract me at varying times in my life. I’ve been drawn to yellow ever since starting the new chapter. My friend helped me pick out the perfect yellow egg yolk color for the doors to our dark gray house. It makes sense – the yellow doors – the entry way to our home. Positive, happy, uplifting – for anyone invited to enter.
Worrying at night when in bed has manifested as squirrels in the attic – imitating the chatter in my mind. I hear a nut rolling around and a shuffling above me. The house makes sure I have this literal experience as a reminder to be present. To give thanks for what was and to let go. To love, forgive and love again. To allow the earth to rise up and meet my bare foot. With reiki hands on the heart, a focus on the breath, the squirrels in the attic calm down, gather their nuts and go on their way, diffused in the trees where they belong.
The kitchen is the Heart Chakra - Anahata – Air and green. The heart – it has its own rhythm – its balance. Photographs of my kids, family, friends, homemade pottery, a view to the garden and avocado toast with hot pepper flakes. It’s where we nourish and create. The heart center combined with the manipura – navel center – is where we want to come from in life. We have conviction and passion – and act from a place of love. That’s the balance I seek. That’s what’s in the kitchen.
I look up to the heavens, to the clouds, to the sky above for guidance. Clear communication is associated with the throat chakra - Vishuddha – Ether – Blue. When it’s warm outside, the energetic vibration of a morning mantra chant is set free from my porch to the stars, the moon and the lavender dawn. When it’s cold, the vibration is absorbed and bounced in the floors, walls, ceiling – it travels room to room and up the stairs. It explores. It’s like sweeping and it vibrates to the outside and beyond. While I find my voice in chanting, I’m learning to use my daily voice more gently. Less energy, less power, less force. Allowing quiet, allowing softness, sweet tones or no tones at all.
The third eye is the Brow Chakra or Ajna. The element is ether and the color is Indigo. This is wisdom, intuition, a knowingness. The Ajna has led me to great adventures like biking up Haleakala, creating our healing home, deciding on a whim to take Kundalini Yoga teacher training or to go to New Mexico for a month next year. Decisions are made quickly and in retrospect, I can’t remember where the idea came from. When the earth raised up to meet my step, finding the right contractor – that’s Ajna. I told him I felt I could trust him and he told me that I could. I let the garden develop organically. I plant. I move things, create pathways with wild flowers, rocks and wood, without a plan. The house spills out into the yard – it breathes out, into the surrounding neighborhood. And connects with neighbors, like the new neighbors across the street, with a young girl, who reminds me how to play.
The crown chakra or Sahasrara is violet and the opening to the infinite. It’s a rainbow after a summer rain. A late afternoon light. A fox trotting down the street, at predawn hours, unaware that I’m awake too. A fresh raspberry plucked from my garden. The smell of mint. Bare feet on soil. A dreamy state, just falling asleep or waking up, when angels are heard. Voices in dreams, spirit visitors. Ideas when exercising or thinking about nothing.
And in Kundalini Yoga – there is an 8th chakra – the Aura, with no element – it’s white. It’s the combination of all the others and how we connect to the universe. It’s the energy that surrounds the whole, the electromagnetic field – And that’s literally our house – the 8th chakra. My friend did a Feng shui and akashic record for our home. She saw the home like a cat with its paws curled underneath - resting comfortably on the land, the indoors connected to the outside. She describes, “26 Beston Street was built many years ago as a container for a new life. A place to land after a tough voyage to a sweet calm. The renovations “whooshed’ it to a fuller flower - a renewed and refreshed sense of purpose and a re-setting as a place to rest. It’s almost like an echo of the original - a place to be safe in the turning of a page, a vantage point to remember the past and its purpose - to bring hope. The house supports abundance - a place to feel the fullness of life.” And she was right. The pulsating energy of Rosehip26.
Living alone, my favorite time of day is post yoga and pre work – from 6:30 to 8:00 am or so. It’s quiet. It’s prayer, intention, introspection. Petting a cat. Contemplating an oracle card. Lighting candles and sage. Reading a poem. Making oatmeal. Giving Nico cream in a ceramic dish. Digging in the dirt or cutting some flowers. Sweeping the floor. Strong coffee.
The house expands and contracts with our breath. The front porch faces east – breathing in new beginnings. In my bed, I face the west and close my eyes as the sun goes down. And in between, artifacts are revealed from walls, cells and bones. Some are treasured and put on a shelf. Others are released out the window.
I started doing Air BnB when Frances went to college, to help with expenses. Initially, it was a sacrifice. Renting a room off the kitchen, people entered our sacred space. Two years later, I have increased clarity of who I am and who I am not and what my house is and what it is not. Spirit travelers are meant to come here. I have something to learn from them, to teach them or both. Or the house can help them in some way. I get a snapshot of someone’s life. Young love; found love again; recovering; long-distant travelers missing their family; healing; college visiting, re-visiting, studying, teaching; fans of Emily Dickinson, of changing leaves, marching band, theater, astronomy, art, homeopathy and weddings. They like the fat cat, the wise cat and the cuddly cat very much. They feel the warmth and love in our home. They sleep well.
The house holds me. As I heal, it absorbs and facilitates the energetic movement and release to the outside, where it diffuses with nature. The house has its own chakras – its own spinning circles of energy – that mirror my own. The house works with me to sort it all out, getting out of sync and then together again. Like in waves, like reverberations. In tune and then off tune and then in again. Energy within energy. A breath within a breath.