One year ago we drove away from our beloved friends and our turn of the century Arts & Crafts home that was literally spattered with our blood, sweat and tears. The day the truck was loaded, I spent at the home of friend struggling between relief and sadness at leaving. There was a lot of laughter that day (mingled with tears) and as I turned the key for the last time on that door that groaned each time I opened or shut it, our next chapter began.
I wish I could say that this last year has been the best of my entire life. I wish I could say that our kids made a seamless transition into their new schools without tears. I wish I could tell you that in the last year of living here that I crossed off everything on my 40 by 40 list, mastered the samba, and joined a band. I wish I could tell you that the days have been unfolding unto me a "knowing"--that a wellspring of moments brighter than the sun at noonday have framed each waking moment with utter and complete joy.
Alas, there have been no illuminations of genius, no cosmic confetti erupting from a "new beginning". Ever the drama queen, I've been a little disappointed that the blue jays that dance between the branches behind our house don't break out into song when the sun rises or bring me needle and thread when I need to darn Mountain Man's socks. (FYI, I don't darn socks, but the gesture would be nice just the same.)
What has been revealed at the center of the last year has been solitude.
To be honest, I'm not great at stillness. For me to exercise stillness it requires four Advil P.M. and two shots of Nyquil. Quiet is not my strong suit.
But there is it, anyway, wanted or not: Solitude. Space. A wilderness.
And so I try. I try each day to remember that the wilderness does not last forever, that I will soon emerge from the long night of the forest; that the sun will rise over the distant hills, maybe even as soon as tomorrow. Until then, I get to be still and breathe deep and realize that (in the words of Zora Neale Hurston) "there are years that ask questions and years that answer."
I am trying to be still.