Things have been pretty quiet around here for a while, so perhaps something of an update post is in order. The past two weeks or so have been spent saying difficult goodbyes to our friends in Nanaimo and packing up and moving back east to our roots in southern Alberta.
Including the ferry, it took us nearly 24 hrs to get back to Coaldale! There was a mudslide on the Trans-Canada highway that set us back about 4 hrs, plus things always go just a bit slower when you’re driving a U-Haul through the mountains. We arrived at our new home early last Thursday afternoon a very bleary-eyed and fatigued bunch (who were profoundly grateful for the warm welcome of family and friends, new and old, to help unload), and began the long process of unpacking, organizing, relocating, and reorienting ourselves.
This is the third time we have done this in the last six years and I’m not anxious to do it again any time soon. I don’t like moving. I don’t like the dislocation (emotional, physical, mental) of times of transition. I don’t like how it throws relied-upon patterns out of alignment and upsets rhythms of life that provide stability, order, and peace. I am a creature of habit—I like things to be predictable and consistent—and living in a new space amidst piles of boxes with no real routine is anything but predictable! At numerous times over the last few days, I have found myself wandering around the house in a mild state of disoriented anxiety, not sure what to tackle next, not sure where to put things, not sure what to do, not sure where or how to begin.
I recently read a sermon on the story of Rebekah—about the choices she made, the choices we make, and how courage and faith necessarily go together. These were good words for me as we take our first steps in this new (old) context. We are very aware that, in many ways, we are departing from the usual script for families at our stage in life. We are downsizing, in a variety of ways—smaller town, smaller house, smaller church. We have chosen each of these “smallers” very deliberately for what we think are very good reasons, but it still takes courage and faith, I am finding, to move from the idea to the reality. Which is good and appropriate, even if it isn’t always easy.
At one point in the latter stages of our journey home last week—I think we had just crossed the Alberta border—I asked my daughter, who was riding with me in the moving truck, if she wanted to go back in the van with her brother. “Maybe you could watch a movie or something,” I said. “No, I’m OK,” she said. She held her hands up like a frame to the windshield and said, “I’m watching a movie out here. And the closer we get to home, the better the movie gets.” I’m quite certain that her comment was not meant to be an existential commentary on the destiny of our family. They were more likely jut the words of a little girl who was weary of being on the road for 20 hrs! But as I think about what the future will hold for us, I find myself “faithing” in this direction, too. I’m hoping for a movie that keeps getting better.