Monday, May 1, 2017

Navigating the New

It’s been over nine years since I’ve moved to a new area and even then, as I found myself surprisingly returning to the state where I grew up, it didn’t exactly feel new. The smells, mannerisms, landmarks, and expressions all felt a bit like coming home.

Moving this time conjures an undeniable and unavoidable newness. Southern hospitality is as welcome as it is startling. My brain hurts trying to log the names of roads, classmates, schedules, and restaurants we’re told we have to check out. Even the grocery store, something I used to tackle in under a half hour, now takes almost an hour.

Everything is new.*

There are days I crave the familiar. The comfortable. The things and people I know and love.

But you’re an adventurer I remind myself. This is exciting. You love the prospect of all that’s yet to be discovered—to be experienced.

True. But I’m also human and I find, not only for my sake but for the sake of my whole family, it’s good to be honest about the deluge of change. It’s exhausting at times. And scary. And lonely.

I’ve decided to take my time. To dip my toes in, when in the past I might have leapt in. I have no idea if this is an older, more mature me emerging. Or if it’s the evidence of my scars. Or if a maternal muscle is flexing. It could be an amalgamation of both wisdom and caution. Whatever it is, it makes sense for now.

Instead of flinging my doors open and taking the world by storm, I’m tilting my head to the rain and letting the droplets fall where they may. Because like Mary Oliver once wrote, I too believe

“…the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things

*I lived in Georgia twenty years ago, but for less than a year…not quite long enough for much to root.

**Told you I’d be back. ;-)

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Taking Time

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