On Wandering


Today is one of those days when I'm hating it here. Not necessarily New England here … but this little rural place we find ourselves in. It comes in waves - this feeling of isolation and separation. We knew when we bought out here we would have a very different life than the one we were used to. And with every house purchase comes some kind of sacrifice. This time we sacrificed location so that we could have affordability, and space, and outdoor space to play. But man … some days that sacrifice seems almost too much to bear. Some days the sacrifice just doesn't seem worth it.

Some days I would rather have a smallish condo with very little outdoor space so that I can walk outside and be in the hustle bustle right away. But even those places are hard to find in our price range. At least for a price that doesn't feel financially irresponsible. I could go on and on about my disgust over the Boston-area house market … but that’s for another day - another post.

I'm not sure there is ever a day that I truly love it here. I do love our house … I dearly love our house. I even love our mess of a yard. But when it comes right down to it … I don't totally love its location. There are days when I allow myself to like it. I like that we are close to the commuter rail. I like that we are close to Concord - without the Concord prices. Some days, I like to pretend it's a retreat center. A quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I mean - once I’m home - I do love it. It’s when I head out for a walk that I get frustrated at the ruralness of this place.

So I try to convince myself that we will rise up out of this rut. We just need time to adjust. In time, we will learn to love the feeling of living in the middle of nowhere. We'll learn to love the fact that there's nothing around you. We’ll start growing our own food, and we’ll create a safe haven here in this place - not just for us, but for everyone we know. We'll adapt to a life of mindfulness - and truly appreciate the beauty of the simple.

But some days I just long for hustle bustle. I long for people all around me - for human connection, for art museums, for live music, for a front porch, for my old life.

Sometimes I just want to curse that old neighborhood of mine. It wasn't perfect - we actually can't imagine ever moving back - but damn we had some good memories there. And damn it was easy to connect with people. At least a hell of a lot easier than here.

It's funny - because that old neighborhood wasn't really any more walkable than where we are now. Sure, we could walk around the park, and we could walk to friends’ houses, but it's not like we could walk to get a gallon of milk. Or to a farm for fresh produce.

But we could walk to the zoo. The splash pad!! We could walk to get ice cream - or a good cup of coffee. We could walk to our chiropractor, and to the library, and to a pool.

It’s a give and take, this big move of ours. In just 9 months - has it been that long already?! In just 9 months, we’ve made connections and community here in a way that we always longed for while we lived in Atlanta. We’ve found a church to call home … in a way that we haven’t had since we left Resurrection 5 years ago. We’ve made a life-lasting friendship with a family that is far greater than any friendship we’ve ever had … as long as we’ve been a family. David is flourishing in his job in a way that has never happened before. I have stepped out on a ledge in temporarily going back to work - and trying to build a new business - while planning to homeschool and making a home … all at the same time. We can bike to the train station - to the library - to the playground. Heck, we can walk there if we really want to ... it just takes a little bit longer.

Our hearts are so full of love and joy here - and yet some days there’s still a tiny bit of wandering happening.

Just a few weeks ago I heard a sermon at church that really struck a chord with me. Our pastor was talking about homesickness … and how there are times in our lives when we long for the past. But we aren’t really longing for the past because it was so great … we long for the past because it’s what we know. And if we really dig deep within our hearts, we realize that it’s not the past we are longing for at all. Instead, we are yearning for something greater - we are yearning for something which we haven’t experienced yet.

I know that's so true for us here. We are longing for something greater than we've ever had. That's the reason we moved here. We've begun to experience that in small ways - and I know greater things are still yet to come.

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