Adrift in Venice, CA

Heidi found herself in an uncomfortable situation.Having lived in New York city for 8 years, she had it all, a dope apartment in the Lower East Side, a strong group of friends and a loving church community. But she found herself leaving it all behind at her company’s beckoning to take over their west coast division in LA. A promotion to head up your own team while living a stone’s throw away from the beaches of southern California should be a welcome respite for most of us, but Heidi largely felt ambivalence and fear on the journey westward.

Sure enough, after a couple of months of being in Venice, she felt unstable and alone. She kept to herself many an evening. True, she had made friends but it just wasn’t the same. Loneliness is present in new lands, but the pain is more pronounced in the absence of the friends and family you leave behind. It was as if her security blanket has been ripped from her and she was drifting away, suffering softly.

But then something interesting happened, those large vats of forced alone time slowly transformed into mediums of silence. And in that vacuum of external stimulation and with nobody to lean on, she started to look inwards. Her first realization was that she had been really afraid of spending time by herself in this move. Yet here she was, doing it and surviving. So she kept going with it. She sat and did nothing. And like drops from a leaky roof, more epiphanies came along in the silence, both big and small. She discovered beauty in the slowness of life. And from that, a sense of security and cohesiveness started growing. Her faith took on a new dimension and she felt a deep sense of intimacy with her Creator. Finally, Heidi learnt that she hated leaving her home because that’s where all the things that gave her peace resided.

In fact, in this whole past year of social exile, her most surprising lesson was on the source of her peace, her feet. Her feet were her foundation and if her feet were always scurrying about and getting lost in the busyness of life, her peace would be based on those things. But if they’re grounded in the silence of life, she is always home.

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