We are planning to move. It’s not a long-distance move to another country or across our own land. Not even to another state. And we are not retiring to Florida. Why, we’re already there. And we’re not moving to another city. Our re-location involves a move just 9 miles south in the same quadrant of Jacksonville.
But it is a gigantic step for us. We have lived in our current homestead for 37 years. Our children grew up here, and when I open the kitchen door to the garage I see pencil marks revealing Crista and Joel’s increasing heights since their ages of 8 and 9.
People in our age demographic make similar moves, often called downsizing. A Texas couple, Joe and Judy Powell, had a ranch to sell, 20-acre cattle ranch, mind you, in order to move to a nearby college town. Their move involved a huge acreage to a small property, from rural to town.
Of course, Cliff and I have accumulated lots of stuff, which about a year ago we’ve started sorting through, recycling, keeping the most necessary and precious. An art-creating husband and book-reading/writing wife produce/save lots of stuff.
About the Stuff
Yes, we must cull, re-cycle, throw out, even. We have called the city for bulk recycling pickups.
To save one must value. And to throw out, one must value moving on. ~ Mary Peacock, The Paper Garden
What I’ll Miss
- My clothesline. Our new homeowners association won’t permit such. I’ll look at old videos of sheets flapping.
- The dowager live oak tree on the edge of our property spreading its sheltering arms . . .
- Wall space to display my husband’s art work. Our new home has an open floor plan and limited space for drawings and paintings.
The Emotional/Philosophical Shift
Before, during and after the move, we have felt and will continue to feel out of sync. Our daily rhythms will be interrupted for a time. We’ll have to get used to operating in a new space. We’ll feel out of balance for a while, a sensation I am already experiencing.
In the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, the transition to a new home ranks # 28 on a list of 43 life events, coming far after major events like the death of a spouse, serious personal injury or illness, change in job or even retirement. Truthfully, I think I would elevate moving to a higher level. Anyone who has changed addresses recently may agree.
Writer and blogger Sharon Clymer Landis discussed an imminent change in her household last year, observing parallels between the physical and spiritual aspects of moving to a new location:
She says, “As we work our way from the comfort of the known, from the cozy nest, inching toward our edges before slipping into the wild unknown, we are usually filled with doubts, fears and dread. How little we trust the process, or God’s great holding of us, or the drawing towards growth that results in greater love, spaciousness, and freedom.”
When we finally take flight, we realize the air under our wings is the same air that lined our cozy nest. The nest, the struggle to launch, the flying, and the very air around us is all part of the Great Holding.
The Move and Story-telling
As she continues, author Landis draws an analogy between physical moves and good storytelling:
Good storytelling often moves us forward, opens a reader’s heart toward greater understanding or toward something in life’s horizon. Add the element of God, of the Divine Mystery (how do those stories and images end up right where we’ll find them when we need them?) and you’ve got a hint of how things work: equilibrium to disequilibrium, and back to equilibrium…on and on in the cycle of life and growth – kissed by Eternal Wisdom, a God holding us in Love always. Whether we’re in the midst of being drawn to concepts or changes beyond our understandings, whether we’re dug in and resisting, or flying wild and free, we are equally loved!
A Story Told
“Flying wild and free” evokes the image of a bird in flight, not usually mouse movements. But a storybook mouse can go wild and move. Maybe you remember reading Mouse Moves House, a charming children’s book by Phil Roxbee Cox.
Mouse Mack, backpack in tow, appreciates his friend Jack, who helps him pack and load his stuff onto a moving van named Fat Cat.
How have you experienced moving?
You must have some advice for me and other readers. Here’s where to share it.