It’s after 6pm and they are closed, yet, I go in anyway. I make eye contact with Vinny the store owner of La Stella, my corner supermarche, and say I am really sorry but can they sell me some bananas before they finish cashing out? They are elbow deep in closing for the day but Vinny smiles and immediately rushes over, “of course honey, what else do you need? I can have them cut up some meat for you in the back.” Carmela, the fiery cashier, pipes up with her smirky grin hands in the air, “she only eats fruit Vinny, c’mon now!” She glances over her rims at me shaking her head like he should know that that’s all I eat (not true!)
They make sure I have what I need and I am on my way, all smiles. Which I always leave smiling because they are truly authentic and honest people. I actually freakin’ love the vibe of this particular market because of the neighborhood feel AND they happen to be conveniently located just a stone’s throw from my apartment on Erie Street in the Italian section (go figure?!) of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Picture of Vinny, the owner of La Stella. What a smile!
In my little Italian haven, I am living in an old cafe that has old world furnishings a couple of blocks from the Moksha studio I teach in. I love, love, love the location especially for the 6am curtain calls!
One thing that I didn’t realize when I first rented the place was that I was going to be rooming with some mice. Yikes! I guess if you are in a restaurant zone no matter where you are in the world, you are going to be dealing with that kind of pest thing. I have grown used to them. Lots of trial and error with foods left out, etc. (apparently they can eat everything and through everything!!) But at this point, I’d probably feel lonely without them and, by the way, they do have beating hearts! For real! So they are here to stay. No traps!
At first, I was annoyed with the space because it seemed really foreign to me, it also has poor lighting in the bathroom, the bathroom fan is so loud and clunky sounding, the entire apartment is not sealed very well so there is a lot of wasted energy, an electric stove (!), and because there are mice pooping all over this joint! Enough reasons?
Of course, overall, I liked it, but I felt it wasn’t my own and I was unable to decorate it the way I’d like to. Make it a home they way I know to make it a home. But I had to remind myself that I was going to be here for such a short time and that these were things that I could deal with.
Still, I don’t want to deny myself things that I feel are important to me and I do like to feel grounded and create a nice living space for myself. Before this location, I was house sitting for a couple of months for two different people and before that, I was in my home which was in the midst of being packed up for another few more months. So, to say the least, I was and am ready to start to grounding down and making a home. Yet, I had to remind myself that home is truly where the heart is.
I stopped and looked around and thought of the people at the yoga studio and the people at the grocer and the people at my local Starbucks and the people I know in Detroit and my acupuncturist Nora here and the people at my local Y. All of a sudden, I realized that I had created a community here. A home.
I realized I was doing it the minute I arrived by lighting the candle in my home (most nights), when I fixed my bed (most days), when I made meals for myself and when I made an effort to show up in my community (one instance by making vegan egg nog – see pic below – it was really yummy, btw.) I was essentially creating a home. Wherever I was, I was doing it. By the relationships I was forming, by my actions, and by showing up being my authentic self.
Vegan egg nog recipe from Kris Carr‘s recipe book! Delish!
After coming to that realization. I have not felt sad about decorating or finding a home. That will come. I know it will. Right now, I need to enjoy the here and now.
And so I want to take a minute and thank my dear ones in Windsor and Detroit for being super awesome in opening your homes for me, in meeting me for teas and lunches, making me yummy dessert sauce and so many other things! Thank you!
By the way, I have to say that I am so terribly blessed to have the chance to work for these twins from my hometown of Winnipeg, Nena and Mesia (see pic below.) They have been an absolute blessing and I thank the Universe for having our worlds collide. Seriously. They are inspiring people with their joy and spirit for life!
A little video clip from LCD Soundsystem called “Home”.
How have you created a home while traveling around? What kinds of tools do you have in your back pocket that ground you when you feel things are chaotic? How do you center yourself?
Please share your thoughts!