I Am Home! (Part I)

For A New Home

May this house shelter your life.
When you come home here,
May all the weight of the world
Fall from your shoulders.

May your heart be tranquil here,
Blessed by peace the world cannot give.

May this home be a lucky place,
Where the graces your life desires
Always find the pathway to your door.

May nothing destructive
Ever cross your threshold.

May this be a safe place
Full of understanding and acceptance,
Where you can be as you are,
Without the need of any mask
Of pretense or image.

May this home be a place of discovery,
Where the possibilities that sleep
In the clay of your soul can emerge
To deepen and refine your vision
For all that is yet to come to birth.

May it be a house of courage,
Where healing and growth are loved,
Where dignity and forgiveness prevail;
A home where patience of spirit is prized,
And the sight of the destination is never lost
Though the journey be difficult and slow.
May there be great delight around this hearth.
May it be a house of welcome
For the broken and diminished.

May you have the eyes to see
That no visitor arrives without a gift
And no guest leaves without a blessing.

– John O’Donohue, Benedictus

September is well and truly here, and with it come a lot of changes in my life. I could barely sleep from all the excitement on the eve of my big move to the new home, so I found myself packing well past midnight in Vila Franca. When the alarm went off yesterday morning, September 1, I practically jumped out of bed with a grin plastered on my face. I had a few last things to pack up, including the remaining food in the fridge, and by 07:00 i was ready to go. Alas, the building I was staying in has no elevator so it took eight trips up and down the second floor (going by the european count where 0 is the the ground floor and first floor is the level above ground floor) which was quite the workout. Pick-up time was scheduled for 08:00 and this is what I had set my countdown to, and by golly was I going to stick to it!

I was rather shocked at how much I had accumulated in six months. Nevertheless, my loot – plants and all – fit into the car without having to sacrifice anything. I felt as though I had been plugged into an electric socket, with the buzz of energy running through me. I didn’t even feel a pang of regret leaving Vila Franca!

Arriving at the new house was a joy beyond words, and from the moment I stepped through the door, I felt embraced by the place and a wonderful sense of peace washed over me. After unloading the car I headed straight back out and to a supermarket in the next town, Malveira, to stock up on supplies. Living all the way up on the hill requires a different planning and organisation, especially when I stil don’t have a car. Thank goodness for the lovely soul of MM who was an integral part of this move. So down the hill we hurtled, and I set out to conquer the first full-sized supermarket I have stepped into since arriving here. To say that I was a little overwhelmed is an understatement, but I found everything I needed.

The rest of the day was spent unpacking and moving furniture around – well, the ones that could be moved and were not screwed or cemented to the wall / floor. Those of you who have followed this blog longer know that one of my quirks is to move furniture around until I get the feng shui right. So the challenge was to create the right energy with what I could move, and then figure out the rest as I go along. In case you are wondering, yes, those are old stone walls in the house. There is no documentation that proves how old the original structure is, but I bet that if a carbon test were conducted on the walls they would date back at least a millenium, given the location. My theory is that the house was originally part of a watch tower set up to to guard the palace of Mafra. The doorways are also so low and narrow that the first thing that comes to mind when you step in is Frodo and his hobbit house in the Shire. I can stand up straight without any problems but anyone over 1.54m is guaranteed to bang their heads.

By mid-afternoon I was exhausted and set out to cook my first meal here. I wanted to celebrate so I cooked something Filipino that was comforting and welcoming at the same time. Ginataang Isda at Kalabasa (fish and pumpkin in coconut milk) it was with rice.

When my body could no longer continue unpacking, I sat down on the couch and simply sat in silence, soaking in the beauty of my surroundings and knowing that the house has become my home. Looking at the time, I realised that if I went to up to the terrace, i would just in time for sunset. In Vila Franca my daily homage to nature was sunrise, but here I am situated more for sunsets. And look at what Mother Nature had in store for me:

****** To Be Continued *****

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