Coming “home” for the holidays

bill and me ALB


“Home is where the heart is.”

–Pliny the Elder

Driving cross-country through 11 states last week before arriving at my new residence in Scottsdale, Arizona, Wednesday night, I had a lot of time to think about what “home” means this Christmas.

Palms trees, sunny skies and warm temperatures certainly feel different than the cozier and sometimes snowy New England Christmas seasons of the past that were so familiar (even though I know that isn’t the forecast this year!).

Yet, when I look deep within my heart, I realize my home is now in several states, from Atlanta and Massachusetts where my children and some dear friends live, to New York, Florida, California, Maryland, Vermont, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Colorado, where I am connected with many other people who have touched my life.

Increasingly, I am learning “home” isn’t a place where we live, but rather a space within each of us from which we share our hearts. When I miss people who cannot be by my side, either because they have passed away or live too far away, I take several moments of silence to hold them in my heart, bless them and send love.

Still, some holiday exchanges can challenge us as we hover between being on our “best behavior” and speaking the truth. However, I believe integrity is part of living and loving from “home.” It took me a long time to learn that it is healthy to speak up, say what you need to say, and then move on to the next moment, which is another opportunity to share love. At the same time, I extend my blessings to people I have been in conflict with, wishing them peace and forgiveness, knowing our time to express love on Earth is very brief indeed.

This Christmas, I wish for all of you the same comfort I yearn for in this new, unfamiliar place of living:

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”

–Maya Angelou

Happy holidays wherever you are!



Cheers from a happy and exhausted Bill and me, who were toasting our trip West in Church St. Café, a Mexican restaurant in Albuquerque, NM (as pictured above), after a much-needed stop on our 3,000 mile drive cross-country.



Share this post

  • Andrea says:

    Gail, thank you so much for this. As with most people, I was unable to be with my entire family this Christmas. Your kind words help me remember that we are ALWAYS with loved ones in our hearts and it does not matter where we are physically.
    Wishing you, Bill and all your loved ones a wonderful new year with lots of love and light!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Andrea: You said it best, that we are ALWAYS with our loved ones in our hearts! Thanks for sending love and light to Bill, me and our loved ones. I wish you many more moments of grace, peace and abundant joy. Happy New Year. Love, Gail

  • Dirk says:

    Very happy for you, Gail. Life seems to present us with nuggets we can either pick up or leave there and walk on. Not sure if it’s destiny because I believe we have the free will to decide which we will do. But if we pass by we walk right back to the life we’ve been leading. If we pick it up we immediately head down a new path. Sounds like you’re very glad you took a chance.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Dirk: Thanks for writing. I love your wise insights on taking a chance. Yes, I’m glad I did it. And I think these chances can also be about more than just the people we get connected to, but also to the new way our lives are supposed to evolve. For some reason, and I don’t have it figured out yet, I know I belong in Arizona for now. Perhaps the healthcare system here is more open to my approach to healing and the sunshine and warm winter temperatures more conducive to keeping me in good health. Maybe the right agent or publisher for my book will appear here. Moving has been both an adventure and a total surrender of how this next phase of my life will evolve. To staying open to more and more joy, Gail.

  • >