Have you ever been called by a place? Do you know what the pulse of home feels like? Though both may add to the calling, I don’t mean a house or people. I am speaking of the rich and deep call of the land of a particular location. To date, I have felt this call for two places: Ireland, the land of my ancestors, and the place I now live in. It took me a long, long while to listen to this call of coastal North Carolina. I lived in this place half my life ago. I brought my son and husband, at the time, to live closer to our family. Life and living took me away from this place. I regularly visited until my mother’s death in 2012; my visits then became occasional. Each time I returned, there was an unsettling feeling, a nagging. It persisted for years.
It wasn’t until a conversation with the land in Ireland in 2019 that I could hear the call of Wilmington, NC. It whispered at first, not giving up on me. Finally, after the isolation of COVID, the chapter ending with my retirement from massage therapy, and a few other nudges, I put the process in motion to relocate. It happened so fast, the staging and decluttering a house I had lived in for 15 years and putting it on the market. All the pieces fell into place as my heart raced and panic set in. It was happening. I was finally getting something I truly wanted.
Friends were surprised, disheartened, and even almost angry that I made this “sudden” decision to leave a place I had lived for 25 years. As the saying goes, you never really know what another is feeling or thinking. You can never walk in another’s shoes. The truth is, with the isolation of COVID, I was more alone than I had ever been in my entire life. I didn’t go out much and didn’t see these friends that were surprised by my decision to move. I existed in a place that was “safe and familiar.” I was racking up debt, trying to make my way as a creative soul, and looking down many dead-end roads. There was no spark. I felt like I was pushing a rock up a hill. And I was tired.
When the offer on the house came in the first weekend on the market, I knew the universe was conspiring in my favor. I was nervous, anxious, and excited. I had no idea what I would “do” in Wilmington; I just knew I was finally going home.