A friend of mine once mused, If there are soulmates, maybe there are soulhomes, too.
A soulhome. What a romantic thought. A place where your heart is destined to rest, a special and mysterious location where your soul has intricate ties.
I personally don't really believe in soulmates. The One.
I think relationships take work, you choose to love. I do think that my husband and I are great together, and that I prayed for him from the time that I was a little girl. I knew I would marry someone someday, and I wanted to make sure God knew all of my requirements, things like "loves Big Red gum".
I don't think anyone could ever love and appreciate me the way my husband does. In all my weirdness. I cherish him. Sometimes I like to say we're soulmates, because he's my one, the man I've chosen. We work hard at our relationship, and our commitment to each other has been blessed.
But as far as real soulmates go? I believe we as humans are irrevocably flawed, and therefore if there even could be such a thing as soulmates, we would have ruined that whole deal a long long time ago. We would have married the wrong people and messed up the soulmate order for everyone.
I remember thinking about that when I was around 10 or 11. I had a moment of pure panic, thinking of someone accidentally marrying my soulmate before I got to him.
Perhaps the first and only soulmates in the history of the world were Adam and Eve, and we all know how that turned out.
But let's imagine for a second that soulmates and, more importantly, soulhomes are real.
Each one of us has, imprinted on our heart, a place that belongs to us.
Born into the world with locks around our soul, a golden key is tossed out into the universe. And the moment we step into that place, the great expanse of desert in Arizona, the rolling green hills of Ireland, the towering sky-rises of New York, we hear that click.
And we are unlocked.
It's an absolutely stunning thought.
A lifelong quest to find each other, you and that distant land of destiny.
I think I've experienced similar feelings of serendipity, which could easily be heaped into that nebulous overwhelming wanderlust.
I think for most people though, myself included, a soulhome would be the place we've spent most if not all of our lives. There's a definite bond between a person and where they were born.
Arizona is my place. The desert is where I have always belonged, it's where I feel most enchanted and most at ease. I understand it and appreciate it for all that it is. I feel really lucky in that way.
But I've also lived other places and traveled to countries that I have fallen in love with. There are those dreamy trips that make us all swoon (Hollywood-driven, most likely), just imagining what the Eiffel Tower must be like in person, or thinking of riding in a Gondola in Venice. Growing up as an O'Neil and loving all things Irish, I would definitely say that Ireland was my dream place to live for a very long time. Irish blessings hung on my walls, green was my favorite color, Gerard Butler in P.S. I Love You is my favorite ever.
Over the last few years of traveling, I've had my moments of, I could do this. I could live here for keeps.
One of my favorite terms for my friends is kindred spirits. Unlike the idea of soulmates, I heartily believe and support the idea of kindred spirits. They exist all over the world, and come sneaking into your heart even when you least expect to find them.
Arizona is my soulhome, but maybe I can allow my heart to find kindred places, too.
And what a long, lovely list of kindreds that will be.