“How does one become a butterfly?” Pooh asked pensively. Piglet replied, “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” A.A. Milne
I have been preparing for this move for close to six months. I have been cleaning out closets and drawers, donating bags and books for what seems like an eternity now. And today we are at T-30days.
It seems surreal. I drive everyday for work and in the course of one day I cross no less than 5 rivers. The views are spectacular. The smells of salt and pluff mud are almost as delicious to me as brownies baking. This place has become part of my body, my soul.
It is going to be sad. Hugs, tears, goodbyes. I am trying to prepare myself, but I don’t think there is any way to be fully prepared. Can any of us be completely ready to unmoor from one life and sail into another?
On the one hand, the six months has given me time to make peace, to breathe with it, to enjoy the time I have left, to make a game of it. The boys and I made a bucket list and fill our days with things we want to do before we leave. We have not cried or sat sullenly looking at the remaining days-we have laughed and experienced everything we could, everything we said we wanted to.
On the other, it has been hard. It is hard to feel friends shift and change around me as they too make their peace with my leaving. It has been hard to watch my home empty, my walls clear, and my life here end. Right now I would normally be planning our summer vacation, I’d be picking summer camps for my kids, and buying sunscreen in bulk for our days on the beach. But I am not. I won’t be here. I will be there. It is unsettling, my routines are off kilter and I feel like I am drifting.
I have had a beautiful life here. No, no, it has not all been perfect and without a doubt the last few years have given me my share of challenges, but when I think back over the last 13 years, it is with a smile and a full heart.
I have lived close to my family-my sister & brother-in-law and nephew, my parents and my grandparents and they have been a constant in my life, and more importantly in the lives of my children since they were born. I consider myself, and more importantly my children, very lucky to have that.
I have made friends with women who are like sisters to me. Many of us met when our children were very young, the bonds we formed are woven deep and strong, over diapers and coffee, over tears and laughter, over divorces and diets. And those bonds rarely break. A move cannot sever those ties, they will undoubtedly stretch with the miles.
I sit here in conflict with myself, and rightfully so. I am sad to be leaving behind so much, but I can look at the photos of my new home and at the very same time I feel so excited, so ready to go. The house we chose gave me such a sense of peace when we walked through it, I knew it was the one, and everyday that I look at the pictures of it I feel it again. I feel my chest loosen, my breath steady. It feels like home already, is that even possible?
I am ready for new experiences, new challenges and new scenery-though the scenery here is hard to beat, I’ll give you that. But, I am ready for rolling hills and gracious farmland, for woods and trees and lakes and rivers. I am ready to smell the earth and the horses as I drive along and hear the rooster down the road while I sip my coffee in the morning. It will be better than my neighbors dog barking.
I keep trying to pinpoint what this feels like, how to describe what its like, and is a butterfly. I feel like the last few months I have been in a shell, pulling back, focusing on the tasks, wrapping myself in my children, my husband and my closest friends. I have let go of old hurts, old baggage, a lot of furniture and needless crap and shifted my focus. I have been mending, learning, and changing. I am choosing very carefully the things I take with me, in my house and in my heart and I am determined not to repeat the same mistakes or fall into old habits and patterns. I have lofty goals, I know.
When I get to GA I hope I will emerge from this cocoon I have been in (or chrysalis really, if we are talking butterflies). I hope to stretch my new wings. I want to make new friends and explore new places and build a whole new life for us. I will hold in my heart my life here as I begin again in this new town. I am ready.
“And, yet, the caterpillar lives in the butterfly and they are but one .” John Harricharan