The hello year...

I was talking to a dear friend recently about her upcoming move.  After we hung up, I started thinking about all the moves, all the goodbye's we've said in the past three years.  I think that's part of why this move has been a difficult one for me, because I'm still missing two places.  Just as soon as I had gotten my feet under me in Atlanta, it was time to go again.

But- there are no goodbyes on the horizon anymore, at least as far as we can see.

My sense of who I am as a person is so deeply connected to place.  Leaving the South, where I'd lived most of my life, where so many important things happened to me, felt like losing a part of myself.

But slowly, slowly, I'm making new connections in this new place.  I realized this as I dropped the kids off for their various camps this morning (moment of reverence for the wonderfulness of your car gradually emptying from five children to one).

First stop was Marley's new school, where she gets to go to kindercamp for the next two weeks and have a little taste of what she'll be doing in the fall.  We saw old friends from preschool.  We know people now.  That exhausting feeling of introducing and explaining yourself every minute of every day is gone.

Then it was down Bay street to the beach, where the boys and their neighborhood friends have beach baseball camp this week.  The ocean was so blue, and the streets were so quiet.  I'm learning that when you live in a tourist town, quiet is special, and you soak it in.  I smiled to think that we get to live in a place where people come on vacation.

Then Eleanor and I drove home to our cows and our view of the bay.  We just had a quiet morning around the house, and I thought back over the past year and all the new things we've done and seen.  I had the sense that we made it through the hardest part- the goodbye's and the hello's.

Now we can just be.


Kathleen said...

very well put . . . Strange to think of a place as being a possible forever home, after making every place home for now, knowing it probably won't be for always. Hard to be new, and hard to be leaving. . . glad you're starting to feel a nitch.

Cindy said...

Sigh...still hard sometimes though!

Lindsay said...

'We know people now'...

I was thinking about this recently. In the mothers room with TK one Sunday, there were several other women in there from a different ward. We had seen each other in there enough times that we had already been through the 'whereareyoufrom, whatbringsyoutodurham, howmanykidsdoyouhave conversations, but I obviously still had no idea 'who' they really were (couldn't even remember their names). And, I realized that /that/ will be my entire year next year. Just strangers turning into familiar faces with limited stories behind them... I felt exhausted (maybe my introverted side coming out?) thinking about trying to remember so many new people all at once (remember how remembering details of peoples' lives is not exactly one of my fortes:)), and knowing that I won't have a group of women around the corner in another room that feel so comfortable.

Wish there was an easy way to do it - but, for you, maybe the consolation comes in hoping that you never have to do it again?

DNCBulldawg said...

Katie, I found another blogger, The American Resident, who has been writing about this old topic from a personal perspective of saying goodbye to her husband for a short trip: "... goodbyes are the Little Grief. There is that wicked piece of knowledge that this goodbye is a hint of the future when the goodbye will be permanent—or worse, that this could be the last goodbye." Please read the whole entry to appreciate nuances.

Despite her lacking a Christian theology of Resurrection, her idea is on target. All of our goodbyes prepare us for the Final One, Death, with which we must all reconcile -- about ourselves! You have been experiencing authentic grief, and it won't be the last.

Her strategy, Positive Thinking, works for a time but only in time. Henri Nouwen, however, in his book, "Our Greatest Gift," reminds Christians that to face our own death with the hope of Resurrection is our greatest gift, our witness, our testimony to the Truth of the Gospel into which we aspire to live our daily, ordinary lives.

Here's the link to the secular response to a common human feeling:


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Amy and Clark said...

The moving and changing and meeting new people is such a toll both physically and emotionally. But I'm glad you're feeling settled. Your new home looks lovely--cows and the bay? Just lovely!

cumyprincess said...

wow..amazing..and nice picture.