Moving Day is coming!!
There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation. Madeleine L’Engle
Moving in and of itself does not seem to be a very holy event, in fact packing brings out some of my least holy language. It would feel more sacred to be transported supernaturally to the next location. The advice column tells me to be decisive. Handle every item only once-decide do you take it, donate it or junk it? How can it be that I have collected so much stuff in my time of living next to the Rocky Mountains? An oversized van and my mother’s small car, both with tire rims bulging transported all the carefully selected items across three provinces in order for me to commence a new life. A bed, a chair, a lamp, pictures, some books and clothing buoyed my anticipated new beginning. Not one face was familiar to me on my arrival and now, half a decade later, both the stuff and my relationships have mushroomed exponentially into a beautiful life developed in this region. The mountain’s grandeur present in my every day has reshaped my soul to look upwards, to breathe deep of clear fresh air, and to take the time to process life.
What the experts don’t tell me, is how to pack up the benefits reaped while living here? How does one box up the richness of relationships to take to the next location? And in the relocation process I wonder what does it mean to be at home? My soul has found a resting place, a nesting place here. Can I find that again? I firmly believe so.
When people asked what brought me to Cochrane … I said it was a series of events. Now another series of events, fuelled by cupid’s arrow, draws me back to my prairie home province. While there has been a longing in my soul to move on, many times I felt at home living in the identity of a grief survivor, although as a survivor I wanted to live, not just exist. Can I now allow myself to live in this new land of dreams? It seemed unthinkable to imagine that I could experience deep joy again. And now I am in the wonder phase … I have been given the gift of a fantastic relationship of a lifetime.
Eric Clapton sings—Nobody knows you when you’re down and out—not true, I had many people walk alongside the grief journey … and now many more are clapping their hands with this turn of events … They tell me, I deserve this … and I wonder, do I deserve to get to be so happy? That begs the question, did I deserve the tragedy? While it is true that we often reap what we sow, no one sows seeds of earthquake, floods, accidents, and disaster. One wall hanging that is packed to make the move reminds me that:
In the end, what matters most is how well did you live, how well did you love, how well did you learn to let go?
As I pack I am letting go of stuff. I will pack up fond memories, rich friendships and lessons learned. I will move to this next phase of life a better person for having spent five years near the Rockies exploring what it means to be at home in my own life. And the mountains will continue to unfold, even from the Prairies.
Jocelyn is author of Who is Talking out of My Head, Grief as an Out of Body Experience.