“I think we’ve moved these dishes more than we’ve eaten off of them,” I said, as I wrapped our ‘china’ in newspaper and stacked it carefully into boxes. Scott nodded in his characteristic wide eyed expression of agreement. I’d been basking in the glow of a new intimacy in our marriage. A deeper furrow, plowed with shared experiences and growing honesty. We started our familiar dance of packing our belongings. We’d had the foresight to save the boxes and newspaper from our last move. As I dug through a mound of crumpled paper I examined the edges to see what publications we were using,
“Hey, this one is from Santa Barbara!” I would announce proudly.
“July 15-21, 2005,” I called out. I don’t know if this makes us thrifty or green. Maybe a bit of both. Occasionally my eyes would catch an article and I would marvel at the changes in the world since. A piece in the local paper about a couple gone to Africa in the Peace Corps; a few months later they returned home after the area became insecure. Another story about Obama bidding for his second term and the preparations being made in Denver to receive the Democratic National Convention. Stories of promise that all had come to an end, for good or otherwise, depending on your opinion. I thought about the fact that I had not put my hand on an actual newspaper the whole time that we have lived in Massachusetts. I wondered how soon print media would fade, giving way to the internet with it’s immaturity and immediacy.
As my fingers blackened with old ink I thought about this move. It was not bittersweet as most were. Bitter with the loss of a place that we had made our own. Sweet with the hope and promise of a new home and all the brightness that would bring. This was a new kind of move, one I’d never done before. Packing up our things and placing them in a building that we had bought. A home that we would call our own. A move that would go deeper into a place. Not farther from it to a new place that we might call our own if we liked it enough.
Scott’s promotion at work to director of the WILD semester makes our lives here more permanent. It’s his dream job. I haven’t lived here with one eye cocked on the future, wondering how long we would last until we found a place that suited us better. Then God provided a job and brought us to the East Coast, a surprise that I’m still a bit in denial about. I like it here, I like the house that we are buying. I like Gloucester. All things that are surprising to me.
Mostly this tastes of the sawdust of stress. Owning our own home still doesn’t feel real. People keep asking me if it feels real, it won’t until we spend our first night there in the house. An event which I will have to wait two months to experience, while that house is being scraped, hammered, and nailed into something better. We start the disheveled process of transition, packing up this and that. What can we live without? What do we need? How uncomfortable do I want to make myself in the next few days and weeks?
So I pack and live in that place called trust and hope. That mess of transition with all it’s tasks, and none of it’s time allowing you to feel what you’re doing. Until you are done.