Sunday, July 1, 2012

Who Says You Can't Go Home?

Whoever said that you can never go home obviously never knew Terry and Amanda Riley.  They never experienced that level of community, love, and trust.  I moved away from Northeast Arkansas and my church, The Southern Delta Church of Wicca-ATC, in April.  The Gods called me away from the first place I'd ever truly called home.  While I may not like Their reasons for calling me away, I don't question why I was called so far away.  Even though I miss my church family with every fiber of my being, I know there are lessons to be learned and adventures to be had, right here in Mid-Missouri.

That said, this weekend, I went back to retrieve the rest of my meager worldly possessions and was met with open arms and open hearts.  It was as though no time had passed, even tough it had been about seven weeks since I'd last seen anyone.  This visit broke my heart and lifted my spirits simultaneously.  Until this weekend, I'd neither felt fully here nor fully there, but with the retrieval of my belongings, I was no longer between places.  

Saying farewell was nearly spirit shattering.  I was finally leaving my old roommates, Heather and Jared, who gave me a home when I needed it and loved me unconditionally as I struggled and fought through so many changes.  Some of my best memories of this chapter in my life are sitting, morning after morning, sipping coffee with Heather, and talking all things spiritual before I had to leave for work.  I still often forget that she is several years younger than I and that she is just now beginning her First Degree work.  She is so intuitive, wise, and understanding.  She knows what she wants and once that goal is set, she goes after it with a passion.  She takes her life's lessons and, despite any frustrations that may arise, meets them confidently head-on, knowing that she can only do what she can and leaving the rest up to the Gods.

Jared is one of those men who sits and listens, more often than he talks, but you can guarantee when he opens his mouth, the words are either going to be heart-stoppingly profound or side-splitting hysterical.  He, too, meets his goals with a passion and quiet stubbornness that is simply breath taking to watch.  He is always kind and willing to help in any way imaginable, even if he doesn't know what to do, he's there offering a hug and a shoulder.

And then, there was the Riley household.  There are three things you can guarantee when you walk in over there, an endless cup of coffee, unconditional love, and wisdom beyond understanding.  When I walked in, I was greeted by Bo-Bo and Sparkles, the dogs of the house, with joy and kisses, as always.  Then, I was grabbed by Ivy, one of my best friends in the universe.  She has an amazing way about her that can not be described.  Being enveloped in her hug is like a soft, warm blanket on a dreary winter day.  Then, I was hugged by Terry.  The old Sage is the consummate leader, adviser, and father figure.  With him, there is no prodigal son or daughter, there are simply children who have gone on to other adventures.  

When his students come home, they are home, whether for good or for a visit.  All questions are answered to the best of his ability.  His latest projects are showed off and plans for future projects relayed with joy in his heart at the fortune he has to serve his community.  Terry lives his life in a way that most people only dream of.

Zach and Amberly are Terry's kids.  The three of us fought through First Degree classes from beginning to end. They live their lives like their father does.  They strive for a goal until they reach it and then they make another.  If I could have chosen siblings to have, it would have been these two.  Sure, they fight like all siblings, but it is on a whole different level and standing on the outside, its a humorous thing to watch.

Then, there's Ashley, Terry's daughter-in-law and her children.  Once again, an amazing woman.  She is a wife, mother, and witch.  She takes life with the gentle understanding of a mother and has grown so much since I met her, not a year ago.  Her babies are two of the sweetest magical children I have ever met.  As I was saying my farewells, her daughter toddled up to me and hugged my leg.  Of course, I bent down and grabbed her as though she were my own child and gave her a proper hug.

Finally, we come to the Queen Mother, Mandy.  She sits among the chaos with a smile on her face, exuding love for all of us who just might venture through her door.  We are all her children and she loves us as such.  She, like Terry, patiently answers our questions, hold our hands, and helps us in any way she can, offering her wisdom of the years for us to contemplate.  

Going home to these people is like shining the light of the noon day sun on the midnight of loneliness I have  sometimes felt in this big house on the ridge. It reminds me that no matter where the Gods call me, no matter where I lay my head, I can always go home.  Even more importantly, when I go home, I am welcomed as though not a day has passed.  That, my friends, is what community and friendship are all about.  That is what love is all about.  That is what I seek and what I seek to help create for everyone who I may come into contact with.  

Neither time, nor distance may change these things.

Brightest Blessings my friends!


  1. Oh my dear sweet daughter, you just about (no you have ) made me cry. I missed you when you left, I miss you even more now. I love you.

  2. We were blessed by the Goddess to have you in our home. I truly do miss our morning coffee and convo! No matter where you travel, you will always still have a home with us! I miss you when your gone, but proud that you have taken that "leap of faith" to go where you are called. You are my friend, my sister, and hold a special place in my heart.

  3. As eyes tear with joy I could not ask for a better sister and friend. I miss you so much! May you journey be blessed and one day lead you home.