When we bought our house, we bought it thinking that we would flip it within 2 years. I mean, who would want to stay here? It is old and not in the best condition nor the best neighborhood. The kitchen is in a dire need of remodeling, there’s some foundation issues, it’s not nearly as big as we’d like it to be, my favorite redbud tree has some sort of funk, the driveway is washing out, and for some reason, our garbage disposal has an attitude problem. There are no sidewalks, nothing within walking distance, it isn’t quickly plowed in the winter and is riddled with mosquitos in the summer. You can hear the highway traffic and the train and, no matter what you do, you cannot escape the children who play basketball at the bottom of the street who refuse to get out of your way until someone spells HORSE or there’s a fist fight. Two years. Maximum.
An hour ago, Neighbor Girl rang the doorbell and asked if my boys could come play in her sprinkler (our pool is not yet ready.) The kids rushed to the backyard and hopped the fence. Neighbor Girl and I have gone round and round and round. She’s a year older than my oldest son and has a bone to pick because she’s not always treated with the most respect at her school, so she likes to be the boss of my kids. If you know me, you know that doesn’t fly with me. Occasionally they get into fights, occasionally they hurt each other’s feelings, occasionally Neighbor Girl invades our privacy by standing at her fence in her bathing suit while we’re trying to have family time in our pool. You get it.
The moment I turned around from getting the kids over the fence, I heard the doorbell ring again. Old Neighbor Man was at the door. Again. ONM is 72 years old. He is missing many teeth, is mostly deaf, openly spits tobacco juice wherever he is (your yard, his yard, my yard – no matter,) and is honestly truly illiterate. The man never learned to read. He knows everything that goes on in our neighborhood. He is nosy. He is in everyone’s business. He rings the doorbell to tell story after story after story and to ask who drove the car that he say parked in your driveway last night. He doesn’t know when to say goodbye, when to end a conversation, and when to leave people alone.
While Neighbor Girl is annoying, she’s been a constant part of my kids’ lives for 5 years now. They adore each other and they hate each other and she is the closest thing to a sister that they have. They share secrets and popsicles and fire flies and Girl Scout cookies and much more that I don’t even know about. She is as much a part of Home as my front door.
ONM came over to bring us onions he grew in his garden. There will be tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, broccoli, and who knows what else he’s growing this year. He shares it all with us. He watches our house when we are gone (and when we’re not gone,) he helped build our fence, helps fix our cars, and he’s become one of my husband’s dearest friends. He is as much a part of home as our back yard.
We’ve lived here now for 9 years and have no intention of leaving any time soon.
What does all of that have to do with yoga? Yoga is what lies beneath. Yoga is not about what it looks like but about what it feels like, not about what is on the surface, but what it brings up to the surface. Yoga is home – and it takes more than a great paint job and sidewalks to make a home, just like it takes more than fancy asanas and a designer mat to make a yogi. Today is my day off of asana, but it is not a day off of yoga. Today I practice the yoga of HOME, inside and out.