Almost a month has passed since last writing here, a month crammed full of decisions and long drives and meeting new friends and bidding others goodbye and tears and laughter and change, change, change. There seemed to be no space for words in the chaotic rush of transition. My heart wasn’t silent, but few coherent words leaked out in the ache and smile, groan and hope and cry.
My brother-in-law says his baby daughter does not like change. She will scream and cry sometimes when you move her from lying down to seated, from one person’s arms to another’s, from dirty diaper to clean, from clothes to jammies, from bouncy seat to car seat, and yet, often just moments into the new position or place or outfit, she’ll be cooing and perfectly content again. The new place/outfit/position is a good one, just as good as the previous one, but the process of getting there prompts tears.
I am like this too, I think.
I am quick to gripe about the dingy kitchen cabinets in my new basement home, about the strange room sizes and narrow, low doorways, about not being able to fit in all of my familiar furniture, about outlets and light fixtures that don’t work, about spiderwebs and moldy freezers and nail holes in the wall. I miss my home, the one we made a home together back in Washington. I miss my husband and the way he would replace and repair and renovate until all was set to rights.
Until I slowly remember that unlike many around the world, I am blessed to have a roof over my head and a furnace that heats this space and clean, running water and indoor plumbing and money to pay the rent.
And this will become home as well. Even without him here. Even without all the furniture. Even with odd kitchen cabinets.
What is home anyway? When so many places feel like home, is my heart left in scattered pieces in all of those places?
Or does my heart become big enough to be at home anywhere and to hold all of those places as home?
In the meantime, in the middle of questions without answers and persistent challenges to my stubborn resistance against change, I need to hang some pictures on the wall and continue seeking the things that seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle of moving. I need to text with and talk with my husband, who is far away, but who is still my husband and with whom I will continue to cultivate intimacy and relationship. I need to don a face mask and scour the moldy freezer. I need to crawl into bed and go to sleep alone…again…and focus on just sleeping through tonight. I need only live today and today’s challenges. I need to cry sometimes and laugh others, hold that precious baby niece and marvel at how she opens her mouth and her eyes so wide with happiness (when did I forget how to do that?). I need to sit down and map out a new budget for this new season. I need to make myself coffee in the morning and eat ice cream at night, anything to make this feel like my home too.
“Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NLT/NASB)