Making a New Home: It’s Not So Easy by Carol P. Christ


I am sitting in my studio apartment with my computer on my lap on a cold, windy, and rainy day in Voutes, Heraklion, Crete. My little dog is curled up asleep, seeing no reason to awake on a day like this.

I made the decision to leave my beautiful home in Molivos, Lesbos last winter, renting a small Air BNB house in Heraklion the winter and a small house in Pachia Ammos for the summer. Then back to Lesbos for 2 weeks, on to the Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete for 2 weeks, back to Lesbos for 2 weeks, on to America for a speaking tour, back to Lesbos for a few more weeks with an interval in Thessaloniki, and on to Crete for the New Year holidays.

Things went pretty much as planned up until my return to Crete. There were a few glitches, but I enjoyed being in Heraklion and then in by the sea in Pachia Ammos, and I was beginning to make new friends. I enjoyed my time in Lesbos and my trips to the US and Canada. I was looking forward to my return to Crete.

The trip back was easier than expected. I had to take 2 overnight ferries with a day in between. I worried about what to do with the packed car in a city, but the second ferry arrived in Piraeus at the same time as the first, and, contrary to policy, the staff let me park my car on the ferry 12 hours early. I visited the friends who bought my former apartment in Athens in the morning and spent the afternoon with Green Party friends. The ferry departed at 9 pm and when I got to my “Lux” cabin, I found a small bottle of wine and drank it greedily before falling asleep in the comfortable bed.

Plans began to change when I arrived in Pachia Ammos. My boyfriend was enmeshed in a family crisis. The woman friend with whom I had planned to dance in the New Year felt obligated to attend a family wedding and the days of celebration following it with her former boyfriend. Cold winds began to blow and neither the summer room to let where I was staying nor my friend’s taverna were particularly warm. Still, I had good talks with my woman friend and got to know several delightful English couples at her taverna.

The friend from whom I had agreed to rent an apartment outside Heraklion while I look for something more permanent, kept putting me off about moving in. When we finally met, she told me about one crisis after another in her life, and I discovered that the apartment was not as fully and beautifully furnished as I remembered. There were a bed and two couches, but the kitchen and bathroom, while usable, were not finished, and the closet and chest of drawers were still in flat pack boxes.

The good news is that a store called English Home (based in Turkey) had the dishes and soft furnishings I needed to buy on a 70% off sale. My little apartment is now accented with pink and purple dishes, red and pink floral pillows, sheets, and bedspread, and pink lace runners. After living in a large home, I am enjoying a more compact space.

The bad news is that the last weeks have been stressful. Driving into Heraklion was a nightmare when I did not know the roads and impatient drivers honked incessantly at me. More than once I drove around the city in circles not knowing where to turn or where to park. The workmen who put the finishing touches on the apartment were very kind but having your home space upside down and invaded by others is never easy.

I have also been quite alone with my little dog. I had imagined dinners and long talks with the friend from whom I am renting the apartment. But she has been travelling and weighed down in her own family crises, and we yet to have any real communication. One of my new friends had exams and another a bad case of flu. The day my boyfriend planned to come down from his mountain, he got snowed in.

In the past week there were many moments when I just wanted to go home. But I remembered the reasons I left and told myself to give it more time.

I bought the round table I needed for my small kitchen and found the perfect lace tablecloth to cover it. It is amazing the difference that made in the feeling of my new home. My apartment feels ready, and I am ready for a new life to unfold. All will not go as planned, but then it never does.

My boyfriend finally made it down from his mountain. The friend who had the exams will pick me up in few hours for a late lunch in a nearby village. It is still cold and rainy outside, but the almonds have begun to blossom and wildflowers are budding.

*Thanks to Lache S. whose “Sometimes You Can Go Home Again” sparked these reflections.

 

Carol P. Christ is an internationally known feminist writer, activist, and educator living in Heraklion, Crete. Carol’s recent book written with Judith Plaskow, Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology, is on Amazon. A Serpentine Path: Mysteries of the Goddess is on sale for $9.99 on Amazon. Carol  has been leading Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete for over twenty years: join her in Crete. Carol’s photo by Michael Honneger.

Listen to Carol’s a-mazing interview with Mary Hynes on CBC’s Tapestry recorded in conjunction with her keynote address to the Parliament of World’s Religions.

 

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Categories: Feminism, Feminism and Religion, General

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16 replies

  1. Carol, Blessings and Strength as you settle into your new home… after a courageous change…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wishing you comfort ant joy wherever you hang your hat–or spread your lace tablecloth! I love how the table cloth shifted the feeling of your new apartment. I visited Crete once more than twenty years ago in early April. I retain a memory of the wildflowers everywhere, so varied, so vivid. May your spring and your life unfold in beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Best wishes in your new home. You probably know the Hebrew prayer for doing something new, called Shehecheyatnu in the feminine,”Blessed is the indwelling spirit in time that enlivens and sustains us and allows us to reach this joyful moment” (trans Jill Hammer & Taya Shere, Siddur Kohanot: a Hebrew Priestess Prayer Book).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful post with so much wisdom from everyday life. I’m so glad you are finally coming to a happy and comfortable launching place after so many life challenges that brought you to this moment. I especially resonate with your words “My apartment feels ready, and I am ready for a new life to unfold. All will not go as planned, but then it never does.” Letting life unfold as it will anyway is such a key to making the best life we can, I have found.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome to Crete ! I wish you from now more happiness .You are in Votums ? I and my husband are living in Kitharida (some km south of Voutes. ) You can come and visit us !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Barbara, would love to meet you and your husband. Making friends is definitely on my agenda. How to make contact without putting all our information out there? I have driven by or through Kitharida on my way to Kroutsounas. I am on facebook Carol P. Christ/Καρολινα Κριστ. Or we could meet for dinner at the restaurant in Ag. Myronas which is open from 6pm every day but Tuesday and also Sunday afternoons. Is yours by any chance the one with the sculpted trees on the road? Figured that must be an English house.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I honor your quest and your courageous journey. I especially resonated with your line that you wanted to go home but that you had to think about the reasons you had left before you could make that agreement with yourself to give it more time. I wish you harmony, lots of fun and plenty of cuddling opportunities.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Carol, every time I’ve had to move, or chosen to move (14+), always, without fail, I’ve had that ‘What the hell have I done?’ moment when there’s no return. Then comes – anything from a day to a year and a day later – your lace-tablecloth moment , which is so welcome. Well done! Blessings on your new home, may you find love and peace there.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks, Carol, you completed your post here, thanks, with such a lovely insight — “the almonds have begun to blossom and wildflowers are budding.”

    Nature never seems to ask us to worship her, but merely to enjoy the gifts she gives so wonderfully. I don’t always look for beauty in nature either. She’s so mysterious. This morning, the cloud cover is so grey and so heavy, when I look up there is no sky.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your story of your moves from home to home moves my heart. I hope you find the best place for you and settle in with tables and lace tablecloths, plus your clothes and everything else, including the dog. I just did a memory count and figured out that I have moved 18 times (I think) since I started teaching in a high school in southeast Missouri after I graduated from college. Coming to California was somewhere in the middle of all that. It’s important that we know it when we find and arrive at our true home. I hope you’re there!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. All will be well, all manner of things will be well. Home-making is always a process, though pink and purple dishes sound like the perfect start. Sorry it’s been so difficult Carol . . . breathing deeply also always helps (especially when people are honking!) :-)

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Dear Carol…May your new home be a place of peace, the joy of friends, new and old, and all your heart desires.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is fascinating and intimate. I love hearing about the quiet inlets of your journey, the pricks that blossom, as you say into sustainable (for now), soft blossoms. I would love some day to read a book about your own self-exile. I just haven’t quite accomplished my exile, so the story is in pieces strewn about in houses I have forgotten. This is beautiful, and thank you for mentioning my post. I was excited to see another “home” narrative.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Gosh Carol, any leavetaking seems to be fraught with some kind of chaos and your troubles fall into that category – sometimes the wisdom is in the waiting… i remember when I first came to New Mexico chaos reigned and what kept me going was “it’s still better here than there.” I left during hunting season. And eventually it was…now though, after having lived through a NM summer I discovered that I am going to have to return for the summer because I cannot deal with the heat – and just this morning I wrote about the changing season and how much I dread the transition…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Carol — All transitions, even wished-for changes, begin with a loss. We leave something in order to move elsewhere. And we almost always forget that first part. I’m glad you’re through it and on to the blossoming of wild flowers. Love to you, Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Love to you Carol. I have just moved (and sold my sacred place and home). The last 6 months have been gruelling, though all has actually unfolded so gracefully: that is, I understand the trauma of the transition, even with wonderful easeful synchronicities … actual work still needs to be done, as well as the emotional stuff. I am in recovery, and thankful now to have the space and resources to do that. May it all goes well for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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