This post has been sitting in my draft folder for nearly a month now; here I am on the other side of the continent from where this post was written, finally settling into a home, finally with enough head space to crack open a computer and say hi. Hi! 🙂
It’s been a hard two weeks. We’re moving west and leaving the military, and this whole transition has left me flailing emotionally. I feel as if I am losing touch with what anchors and as though I am flinging about for something to which I might secure.
We’ve done a lot of transition in our years of marriage, and have always come to it pretty eagerly. We love travel and we’ve thrived on change. So I’ve really been taken by surprise at just how deeply this move and career shift are upending not only my sense of perspective, but also my sense of self. You drag up the roots and give the plant a good shake – and, well, there’s a lot of dust and dead things to fall off, a lot of unnecessary old growth unnoticeable before.
So much growing happened in this home and in this place. So much good life was lived. We’re not the same people we were when we came – the children are in different stages, our marriage is in a more mature place, my own person is older, more weary and, I think, more grounded and sure.
These figurative four walls and the not so figurative Oklahoma dust have witnessed the hard work of people being, of a family molding, of parents parenting, of childbirth adding two new persons to the home. These walls have witnessed my enthusiasm for homeschooling wax and wane, my delight in my own children brim and recede – they’ve stories to tell of our failures, our triumphs, and our moments of unbelievable grace.
We did it, you know? We did this season of life. We did it up. We did it well. We bore through deployment and absence, through reintegration and uncertainty, through not-enough-yet-always-enough; we nurtured and were nurtured, we loved and were loved, we grew and received what was needful each step of the way…even when it didn’t always feel like it was going to come.
And oh, the mundane things that make up a life. Meals, laundry, scrubbing bathrooms. You live in a home, you really live in it. You hear the same sounds through your window: the freeway at 3 AM, the mourning doves, the sunrise bugle call and Taps when the sun goes down. The same sounds, the same smells. Dust, grass, exhaust, wildflowers, curry, fried eggs, wood cleaner, lemon, discarded shoes, lavender, home. You see the same sights – you see hundreds of sunrises over the tree line, hundreds of moonrises over the drought-stricken elm; you see the neighborhood kids at your door, rotating thunderclouds, torrents of rain, hot summer sun. You form ruts, you do the same things. You pick Indian Paintbrush in the mountains and hike with your children and take long drives through the country, photographing ghost towns, buffalo, granite, prairie dogs and your kids. You sit with your friend in her kitchen, or in your bedroom, or at the coffee shop, or in the front seat of either of your cars – you sit and you process and you keep doing this life, together. Your husband makes pancakes on Saturday mornings and you mark your children’s heights with pencil on your kitchen wall…and then you pack up to move, and you wash all the lines away.
You wash the lines, but you still don’t know how to say goodbye.