These first days

There are many photos in this post, just a fraction of the photos and video I have taken this past week. Stay tuned for my "first days" video. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be alerted when it drops. (Insider tip: I'll also post it here.)

We’ve been here for a full week, and what a week it has been, with its tumult of disorientation, gratitude, and deep magic.

Let’s start with the disorientation.

Ten days ago (has it been that long? Has it been that short?), we left the city and our three grown children and moved to the country next to my parents. We drove through three provinces to get here. Both of us had a few days off of work, but we have been unpacking and settling into our new home around work and our other life activities.

Although, in theory, you’d think it would be nice to stop all the usual life stuff so you could focus on just the moving-related things, I’m not so sure. It’s the everyday things that provide a sense of normalcy, so for me, resuming my VA work after 6 days off (including the weekend) was therapeutic in a way that I don’t often associate with my paid work.

The last few months have been stressful and intense, facing the deadline of this move and everything associated with pulling it off. With our arrival, the stress shifts to a “let’s get this home in order” energy, but the deadline pressure has lifted, and with it, my anxiety.

Even so, the significant location change and the awareness of what we’ve left behind - our children - stirred complex emotions, especially in those first days. Those days provided many opportunities for experiencing deep joy and sadness in alternating breaths or hours. Practice for life.

This swirl of emotions, combined with the disruption of our household (life in boxes and various states of dishevelment), can best be described as disorienting. Under different circumstances, the feelings of disruption and loss may have produced more difficult emotions, but our circumstances are pretty amazing.

Which brings me to gratitude.

I have been thinking for a long time about how I will write about the immense privilege of this life opportunity and my gratitude for and to my parents. Despite thinking about it for a while, I am unsure how to write about it. I hope to grow into the writing of it.

I’m not even sure how to live it except to first accept it and then live in a manner that honors the gift. The way most obvious to me is to honor and appreciate my parents, which was their due regardless of our move here. And I mean that. My parents have invested in, maintained, and nurtured loving relationships and generosity towards each other, their children, extended family, and community for their lifetimes. Honoring them is absolutely their due.

I can’t begin to express my gratitude for my parents’ generosity, care, and investment in my life. It may take me years to write about this—in truth, it’s more important to me to live it well than write it well—so I won’t have too high of expectations that this particular attempt will be eloquent or even sufficient.

Our first days here have been saturated with gratitude for so many gifts. Like mom making all the suppers our first week as we unpacked our own kitchen. Meeting the local egg man who delivers eggs to the house(!). And evenings spent in my parent’s living room watching the Oilers Stanley Cup Finals on the big screen.

This leads me to the magic of this time.

These first days of arrival and move have felt soaked in enchantment.

In the course of one week, we celebrated Father’s Day, Damien’s birthday, the Summer Solstice, the Strawberry Full Moon, Mom’s birthday, and, as already mentioned, the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Finals.

those specks of light are fireflies

I’ve been swimming twice. Picked, eaten and preserved large quantities of strawberries. Watched the full moon rise over an evening bonfire. Partaken of supper on the patio. Watched the hummingbirds at the feeders every day. Shopped at the Lunenburg Farmers Market. Delighted in the blooming of the perennial bed. Eaten from our garden. Taken the ferry across the river to go out for supper to celebrate said birthdays. Watched fireflies dance in the neighbor’s field. Gone to the beach for a midday work break. Walked in the woods serenaded by the Hermit Thrush’s melancholic song, one of my favorite bird calls. And have I mentioned yet, watched the Oilers come back from 0-3 to tie the series.

There have been very few times like this in my life. This is not the average. I don’t expect our life here to be like this every week. Full moons only come once a month, Solstice every six months, and only four birthdays (on this property) in a year. So, I have paid special attention in my heart to the unique alchemy of celestial, natural, cultural, and temporal elements of our first week here.

It’s a magic that deserves recording and remembering.

Although deep magic from this unique alignment is ephemeral, the elements and aspects of life that make each individual experience possible are not fleeting. I will live and appreciate these experiences many times, to the point that they will become normal in my life. I hope to never take them for granted.

Community with my parents. The landscape (river, ocean, lakes, forest, and fields) and its diverse non-human inhabitants. The built-up infrastructure of this property, my parent’s home, our home (my home!). The Nova Scotia and South Shore cultural and agricultural treasures.

It has been an unbelievable landing and arrival here. The briefest of days soaked rich with meaning and import. I can’t say the days will only get better from here because, honestly, this has been a week of highlights. But I do know that Oilers playoffs aside, living here will regularly bring me into contact with magic.

Words feel wholly inadequate for the gift of all this.

« Thoughts and feelings as we are about to move
{Video Post} First days at our new home »

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