For Thanksgiving

My prime objective right now is to get settled, to re-establish the patterns, routines, and life-organization that makes me feel secure. It's a need to nest at full-term pregnancy proportions.

Then along came Thanksgiving and a pre-arranged trip to Nova Scotia to be with my parents and visiting aunt and uncle for the holiday.

My mom, the consummate party planner also wanted to host a celebration for the completion of our hike. So we came and celebrated.

In addition to the fabulous food, Mom's speciality, we gave a mini-presentation about our hike to Mom & Dad's friends (whom we all know personally from our many trips to NS and six months of living here three years ago).

It was fun to share stories of our hike and answer people's questions. Good practice for the future speaking we hope to do about our experience.

My sporadic roiling belly anxiety followed me here, plaguing me at times. But I am loved, just as I am in this home, in these relationships. This is a safe place.

And then there's the music.

I come from a family of musicians and singers, mostly talented amateurs but some professionals also. Music is my roots and returning to my roots is one strand in three of the post-hike wellness strategy I've mapped out for myself.

I have plans for how to incorporate more music making in my life but this little trip brought the gift of family music back to me. After a few piano-less years my mom recently bought a keyboard because she too wanted to bring more music back into her life and my uncle bought a guitar last week in Mahone Bay, his Nova Scotia guitar, to leave at my parents for their annual trip out east.

Singing together old church choruses, with the rich alto harmonies and male tenor I've known since the womb, is like coming home for me. I am so very thankful for my family, my heritage.

Yes, I have some post-hike anxiety. And I am struggling with lost confidence and self-doubt.

But I also have this. I have love and acceptance. I have my mom hugging me in my tears, reassuring me that I may not have it all together (in this season) but I have her, always. I have music in my blood, and a voice that loves to sing. I have a history, a loving family, roots.

I have security in these relationships.

« The beach at high tide
Already laid bare »
  • Mama Rachael

    Mama Rachael on Oct. 15, 2014, 6:46 p.m.

    Not sure 'enjoy' is the right word, but getting to walk with you on this journey to healing has been an honor (yeah, better word).

    And I must say, I love those windows. But goodness, they must wreck havic on the heating/cooling of the house. But windows like those might be worth it!


  • Melissa R

    Melissa R on Oct. 15, 2014, 8:43 p.m.

    Renee, the picture of the rocks on the beach with the many many paths that the water made... It YELLED at me (in a quiet, whispering way)... it said that THIS is what you, Renee, as well as all of us, need to keep in mind... it's what Billy Jonas sings about... Any way you go, you're gonna get there.  All the paths the water creates on it's way, it's random, it's varied, it's beautiful and chaotic, BUT... it all leads to one place, to the SAME place... to its home, to where it belongs.  No matter what your path, it will lead you to where you should be, where you belong.  The journey may be crazy, confusing, and chaotic, but it will get you there. "Lean a little bit to where you wanna get Cause any way you go you're gonna get there!" Video of the the song Lyrics



  • Amy

    Amy on Oct. 16, 2014, 4:49 p.m.

    I think this process of doing hard things and then being honest about the recovery from hard things is a gift for your children that will serve them well.  Most people are so afraid to take such risks because of the fear of failure or falling apart or things just being really hard.  My parents took a huge risk when my father was close to 40 and I was 11.  He had his own mechanic and sawmill business that was doing well in central Maine where our family had been settled since I was a baby.  My Dad loved the ocean and wanted to live on the water and be a lobster fisherman and he was not happy in his work.  My Mom supported my Dad's dreams and our family, including three kids, moved to Downeast Maine.  My parents afforded the land on the water by buying a property with only a camp/garage.  The summer and fall after we moved was spent building a log cabin together as a family.  It was quite the adventure and definitely a big challenge.  We had no running water for some years and only a wood stove to heat the house until I was much older. It took my Dad a number of years to get established as a lobster fisherman but he did it by also working as a marine mechanic on the side.  My Dad had no prior experience with lobster fishing and breaking into a tight knit fishing community is not an easy undertaking.  I found this new life especially challenging as a preteen and then teen who greatly missed running water and central heat.  My Mom was greatly challenged by living in a small log cabin in a rather isolated community with a larger family after two more children came along.  I see this childhood experience as the reason why I was not too afraid to adopt three children with special needs from China since that was my dream.  Watching my parents struggle greatly and come through to the other side made me realize that we can do hard things and become better because of it.  I imagine your children are learning just what I learned from my parents and that has been one of the most valuable lessons in my life.  


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