In the next couple of weeks we will find out where we are moving to in the Summer with my husband’s job. We have moved nine times in fifteen years of marriage and so this is not a first for us.
When I tell people we have moved so many times they assume that it must be easier to do this because we have done it so many times before and certainly it becomes familiar.
I know what the inside of a removal lorry looks like more that most do. We know what size of removal lorry we will need before the person comes round with the clipboard to make a record of our worldly belongings, ticking treasured items off on carbon copy sheets. (the last firm still used these!)
Even though it is a familiar process it is still an uprooting, like a spring seedling being turfed up to be moved to a different part of the garden. Sometimes when you are turfed up you find there is more room to grow, other times you can end up being transplanted to what seems like a bed of weeds, and then need to clear the way so that you can grow again.
The not knowing is a limbo of wondering. Then eventually my husband phones with news and then we know where we are going and then are launched into the ‘preparing to move’ period.
I think to myself:
This is the last Christmas here.
This is the last Christmas tree we will buy from here.
This is the last time we will see our neighbours sweep the leaves up from the pavement outside their homes and put them in bags outside their homes in line with German regulations.
This is the last lantern festival.
When I do this I do it more as a reverence to the present of what I have now, rather than thinking about the fact that it will be lost.
This is what is and it is beautiful. This is what is and it won’t always be the same.
I look at the little marks we have drawn on the height chart in my little one’s bedroom and can see there, time marked in centimetres rather than hours.
This time in Germany will one day be gone and that makes it all more beautiful.
What parts of your present life will you miss in a year, in five years, in twenty years, when you are the sprightly person who defies the expectations of what age will bring?
What I have come to realise that as I am in the limbo of wondering where we will move to, really we are always in the same limbo. We do not know what will happen or where we will be.
Rather than fighting it, what would it be like to realise that this was part of the gift of our lives?