We have a big picture window in our new home, and it’s where I find myself each morning. Vast blue sky textured with shadowy clouds, open green lawns peppered here, there with houses, and a sloping road beckon me each day. Some days I respond to the invite and walk out to greet the world, but most days I sit and watch from my chair with my coffee and my Bible. I love this spot. It’s like a deep breath, somehow. Oxygen flooding my lungs, life spreading through my body… a new lease, new energy. The breeze whispers through leaves and teasingly tugs at my hair through the window screen, and somehow I know that whatever lies ahead on this day can be done peacefully, gracefully, and in Perfect time.
So here I am. A bit out of practice, it seems–and not just with writing: a bit out of practice with thinking, articulating, processing, being. After one month–literally, 30 days–of traveling, there’s the distinct sensation that my Self got lost somewhere along the way. Somewhere in the middle of suddenly being married, never alone, not at home, far away, traveling cross-country and back, and starting a new life, Self got lost. But I think she’s finding her way here, to my new abode. And I’m glad to see her; life is not quite so fun when she’s not around. Words are hard to form, ideas are scarce, and usual excitement and drive wane and waiver when she’s away.
And I think she’ll be happy with what she finds here, with what we’ve done in her absence. I think she’ll like our cheery little space up on the second floor (“It looks like a tree house from out here,” a friend said. “Like Swiss Family Robinson!”), our cozy little meals in whatever spot isn’t being overhauled at the given moment, the pile of pictures we’ve assembled that recall a certain sunny day in June, and most of all, our smiles for each other. The Love and Joy and Peace that we try to cultivate. The Friendship that comes so easily. The laughter of shared secrets, the tears of suddenly sensing blessedness. Hopefully she’ll find that I’m working on honoring him and making him King of the Treehouse. Hopefully she’ll notice a twinge of regret in my heart when I speak sharply, and a quick apology. She’ll watch and notice, I hope, that I’m not one anymore, and that I’m trying to think of myself as two. Perhaps I will have grown a bit in flexibility, in letting go of my plans and letting someone else have the final word. Hopefully. Hopefully she’ll find just that.
She’ll notice that I would much rather cook than clean; there’s creativity in the first. I get overwhelmed by piles that need to be organized and need Liana or Brietta or somebody, because I’ll just do what Dad does: make new piles. I sing to myself a lot more because there’s no one talking in the background, no television, no computer game…no nothing. I cry seemingly at random times when I suddenly miss my family, my home, the stability of being around things that pre-dated me. I devour books, magazines, recipes–anything in print. Perhaps it’s the absence of a TV? She’ll notice lots of things, she will.
But most of all, I hope she notices how blessed we are, here in this little haven of newlywed bliss. We still don’t know everything, or even much, but we’re ready learners. We misunderstand, sometimes, or hurt and offend, but there’s grace and forgiveness. We find ourselves wondering if we’ll ever be able to stick our heads outside, or if this mountain of “getting settled” will last forever… but this season, too, shall pass. And we’ll miss it when it’s gone–when we’ve found our nitch and groove and style, and remember with certain fondness the early days of life together that somehow resemble a long-legged fawn, trying to make sense of four feet, gravity, and walking. We’ll chuckle together, as we sit in the dusk of our lives, at our early struggles; and the days when we lived separately, with two different names, will be but foggy memories, dimmed by years of union and solidity.