Home is one of my highest priorities: home, and having my community around me.
Home is where I like to be. It’s where I come to be renewed, where I feel safe and secure- my haven. I called my first home “Hearts’ Ease”- I wanted it to be a place of heart’s ease, not just for me, but for anyone who needed it. And, I grew heart’s ease around the door.
Being a renter in the city for so much of my life, I found it more and more difficult to deal with the regular moves and the constant insecurity- Would I be able to find a place to live? Would I be able to pay the rent?
I used to joke about being a bag lady when I was old and although I was joking, underneath I truly did fear it. It was a dread that tied in with my lack of my own family, of not feeling that I belonged anywhere- the big two for me: feeling secure and safe in my home and having a place where I belong.
Something Gloria Steinem wrote about growing older and still not owning a home really struck me. She wrote that if she ended up a bag lady she would politicize and organize them. I have a wonderful image of Gloria leading a demonstration of bag ladies- waving placards, marching, making demands…
This, quite literally transformed how I was seeing the future- from feeling anxious and fearful to knowing that “whatever happened, I’d handle it.” ( and thank you to Susan Jeffers book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway“).
Now, I have a home and no mortgage. I am so blessed. I have a friend who will share it with me and together we will work out how to live co-operatively.
I’d love to have a granny flat or studio, a separate space, where we could offer sanctuary when someone needed it. There’s been times in my life when I’ve needed time out to regroup and recover, but there’s always been rent to pay and no chance to call a halt.
I am worried by the reports of the growing number of older women who, through circumstance, are vulnerable to rising rents, some of whom are already homeless. I feel powerless to do much about it- but have chosen to buy a house with a friend so two of us have a home.
We need to find new and better ways of living- ways that are communal, shared and sustainable; where people are supported and nurtured, rather than isolated, alone and vulnerable.
We can do it!
- 30 Powerful Gloria Steinem Quotes To Increase Your Feminist Zeal (thoughtcatalog.com)