Write hard and clear about what hurts. ~Ernest Hemingway
I have about negative 20 minutes at the end of each day this week….20 minutes I could desperately use and just don’t have. But today I have to write. Today too many things are transpiring and being processed inside me and I have to write it. Today those -20 minutes are the choice I’m making, I’ll just wear my hair in yet another messy bun if that’s what it means to take 20 minutes and write so ferociously that my back aches from all the bad postured writing.
Today is two big days smushed together into one hugely busy yet all too meaningful day. Today one year ago we drove away on I-80 from Davenport, Iowa and made our way to our new old home of Fort Worth, Texas. My heart still sinks a little when I think about no more play dates with all the women who made me love being a mom that stood shoulder to shoulder with other moms. It wasn’t until we were starting over that I fully realized that being shoulder to shoulder is a gift and it doesn’t just drift down elegantly into your life. Living shoulder to shoulder with other women is something that takes time, trust, and work to develop. Now our shoulders stretch many miles, but with these women we will ALWAYS pick up right where we left off (and then get interrupted by a kid and forget where we left off and start a whole new conversation).
A year ago started the hands-down-no-doubt hardest year of our life. There was so much pain and so much growth that happened this year. I’ve had to learn that as much as a person can possibly understand it--they can’t even understand it. This precious thing that happened is something that Austin and I will share with each other and the Lord really, it’s just far too intimate and intricate. At first I tried to tell it so that everyone could grasp it just exactly how it felt (and I’ll keep doing that, I’ll keep telling about what He did) and it became frustrating when I didn’t feel completely understood. But that’s when I began to understand and appreciate intimacy for what it is, it can’t be shared or replicated.
As I stood hanging up the last little bits of the laundry today I realized: this is my last week for clothesline drying. After that it will be a memory, a time in our life where we were inconvenienced and stretched and forced to sacrifice, but quickly found the beauty in doing things the slow and simple way. All the moments for reflection, prayer, and quiet. All the soft breezes and warm rays of sun. All the frantic moments running to beat the first drops of rain to the clothesline. Those moments will vanish from my life after this week. Tears unexpectedly filled my eyes as I realized, we really are saying goodbye to this horrible, wonderful year. It really is ending. I was as surprised to feel it as I was to hear Jami Nato say it about an overwhelming trial in her own life: I’m thankful and I’d never change it, even if I could.
After this week we will move into our “in between house”; today is a busy day full of work and things to do. I’ve never felt so happy to leave a home (that’s usually deeply difficult for me). Today isn’t quite our moving day, but I think it’s my day for goodbye. This busy, dusty, cluttered mess around me won’t quit and I am now in the double negative for an extra 11 minutes beyond the negative 20 I borrowed (math people: I know that a double negative isn’t what I’m saying it is...so just...ya know, it’s fine). My time is up and this was exactly perfectly what my soul needed. I promise I’ll write soon about our life and what exactly prompted all this chaos and what our plans are...but today was about a process and tomorrow can be about details.