I year ago, I would have never believed you if you had told me that in one year I would be planning a move across the country. Life can be an unpredictable thing, and that is one of the many things that makes it so beautiful. For a planner like me, embracing the adventures of life requires a good bit of relaxing about the details, because there are a lot of logistics in a cross country move. When will we go? Where will we stay? How will we get there? There are cars and moving companies (thank God for this!), and all the little things like preschool for Hugo and figuring out school for the girls, etc. etc. etc. Whew! Even with the great deal of help we are getting from Ben's new job, there are many moving parts! My hat goes off to anyone in the military, or the foreign service, or anyone else who moves around frequently with or without a family!
Up until now, I have been focusing my planning energy on trying to find replacements for all of the important parts of our life in Virginia. How can we maximize our time with grandparents? Can we find a parish that is vibrant and loving and living out the Gospel message? Can we find a school is nurturing, encouraging inquisitiveness and exploration of the world? Can we find a neighborhood that is down to earth and community focused, where the neighbors know and hang out with one another? These are all good things! I certainly hope that we will manage to accomplish each of them.
But yesterday, I had an epiphany. As we are setting up our life in California, we are not just trying to duplicate our existing life. We are journeying forward and trying to find purpose and calling anew, even if that might mean that might mean finding new activities and interests and friends. In other words, we are not limited by the stencil of our life here, as wonderful as that life has been. A big move provides a fresh start, and we have a few extra years of experience, wisdom, and guidance of the Holy Spirit under our belts informing our choices. This might seem obvious, but it was a major shift in our thinking!
Of course we still need to figure out some basic things: we need to have a house, for example (check that box). Or a way to get around, or some meaningful activities, or a church community. But even as I'm slowly working towards figuring out some of these concrete logistics, I'm shifting from a box checking mentality to one of creating space: for good things, new things, and ultimately for the Holy Spirit.
And in the meantime, that leaves me with more energy to enjoy all of the lovely and beautiful things all around me, like those three little triplets (Clara, Dorothy, and their cousin Grace) enjoying some bathing time in the nude on a hot day.