Forward Motion 4
March 29, 2017
Friends, March just tipped over into spring and the snowdrops are out. The coldest, snowiest winter we’ve seen in a lot of years (because we are spoiled with warm, rainy winters most of the time) has become an archived story filled with even more of those superlative adjectives. Now it’s time to move on.
As in, move house.
The quaint old character home we’ve lived in since before the kids were born is soon to belong to someone else. We are soon to leave this city for a bigger one. Find new friends, playgrounds, bookstores and food spots. Opening the proverbial new chapter.
It’s funny how nostalgia creeps into your thoughts even before you’ve left a place. I’m already walking through rooms picturing them bare and sunlit, like when we moved in. I think about how much younger we were. How much older we are.
I’ve started compiling photos from the seven summers we’ve lived in this house, the first few years concentrating on food and garden, unsurprisingly. Memories of sleeping in and making self-indulgent breakfasts. Long afternoons in the garden digging potatoes, the dog waiting at the edge of the patch for a stray tuber to roll his way. Cutting flowers for the kitchen table.
The second group of photos: the kid-filled ones. The painted wooden stork on the porch that proclaimed both babies’ arrivals. The birthing pool in the living room where The Tiger was born. A multitude of food-splattered faces at the dinner table. Christmases, Easters, Halloweens. All in this house.
We knew we wouldn’t stay here forever. We knew it would be less than a decade. It feels good–really good–to move on. But. This house is ours, and it will be ours forever, even when it’s someone else’s. Just like the house I grew up in, now renovated and repainted and a hundred kilometers away, is still and always will be mine.
This morning Little e’s newest pet, a woodbug, died. She’d had him for fourteen hours. We talked about the lifespans of wood bugs and the abruptness of death and how many other woodbugs exist in our garden and she accepted it all with a five-year-old’s gravity and openness. We talked about memory and gratitude, though not in those terms. Then we went out and found another woodbug.
And soon we go out to find another house, and though there is nothing dead about our current one, it does feel like that sort of loss. A choice to stop and turn. A choice to abort one life-course and start another. All the things we could do in this house will never come to be. We have chosen it that way.
But we will pack those things up and move them somewhere new. We will find new woodbugs in a new garden. Find a new house that could never not be ours, for however long we will be in it, and beyond.