last weekend, it started to sink in. the knowledge that if things go as planned, my life will be hugely upended by September. an upside down and backwards shift that i'm equally delighted and terrified by. the last time i had this exact feeling, i was staring at two lines on a pee-test stick, having just discovered that douglas was on the way. it's a heady feeling, like you're about to step out over a cliff, and have no idea if the road will steady on under you, or if you'll start skidding down the side of a cliff.
my heart started to trip over itself at the farmer's market last saturday. our block was full of friends and neighbors, the grey clouds skated past without surrendering a drop, and i had just enough money to get the few things i wanted at the market. oh, and i got to go alone, a rare and heady treat in itself. i stopped by my favorite veggie/herb vendor as i was leaving, having seen a pile of green and yellow things from across the way, and finding myself with $6 left in my purse. i gathered my parsnips and celeriac and paid, and as i turned to go said a quick hello to the farmer who was standing off to the side. his hello back was of the "oh it's good to see you again it's been a long winter how are you" kind of greeting, and while i didn't stop to chat it was a nice interaction. which poked a hole in my heart, and started the drip.
when we moved up here, the intention was to stay a year, save up some cash, and move further south to start building a place of our own. a place to really settle and put down roots. the deep, tangled, dirty-but-strong kind. a crappy lemony car choice sucked away all the savings that first year, and this second one has been one of rebuilding, with more just-skating-along than we'd hoped. we also had an experience last fall that moved another "someday" dream up into the slot in between leaving here, and building our own place.
so why did the farmer's hello pop my heart open? simply that i realized the roots here have gone a lot deeper than i bargained for. neighbors wormed their way into my heart (and my kid's hearts too), the river's become a balm to my sanity, and my wider network of vendor/friends has become strong enough to actually be seen. touched. connected to.
my heart just grew.
it's the little things that add up, the daily drift of experiences that suddenly make you realize you're not standing on muddy shifting silt, you're on rock. rock that you've built, one piece and comment and interaction at a time, and it suddenly becomes something real. you can sit on it, be warmed by it, rely on it. another relationship, another country in your heart.
one strong enough to weather snow and floods, and still surface again with aplomb, if not a bit battered. it works, it's real, and it's ours to enjoy. until we walk away, and have to rely on media, memories, and phone calls to keep it alive. not impossible things, what's real lives on, and i've got proof of that in every corner of my heart.
so i have no real doubts about it being time to move on, i just expected to escape a bit more unscathed in the root-pulling department, but know that like everything else in life, the love makes it richer ... even if it's more painful in the end.
last weekend also brought the first really tangible step in the "get on the road in a camper with books and tools and wander for a bit" project. which we hope to do in just a few months (the camper hunt is on, for starters.) we gave away Sloop, the red-eared slider that we've had for about 4 years now. bought on the curb in Cadman Plaza in bklyn, she's grown into a formidable and voracious beauty. one that really wouldn't travel well, nor fit, into a camper. we gave her to a neighbor girl who already had a younger red-eared slider, and initial reports indicate a very happy couple who are getting busy :).
i don't know where this dream will take us, but i know it's something we all want to do. badly. terrifying-but-excitingly. stepping out with our skills and connections, some tools and a laptop and a map of north america, and the knowledge that we'll be living on a wing and a prayer. trusting God to work out the details, and that we'll know where to go, what to do, and have wisdom in when and where to stop. to put down roots again, ones that i hope to be able to work on for decades. to stop moving, and start building. spaces to live in, to warmify, to sculpt, to share. to heal and feed and connect. to make home and be home.
to keep growing, because i need to. and we want to. onward ...