My blog has been unexpectedly silent this summer, as you can easily see. I've missed two Trusting Tuesdays and all those June posts I was supposed to do.
The truth was that I have been sitting here with those same butterflies I mentioned in my last post all summer, until I began to wonder if butterflies in your stomach can develop into an ulcer. Only proverbially speaking, thankfully, but still. To put it mildly: it's been hard to live in the Trust I set out for in January.
This summer was beautiful in Vancouver, everything that I could have asked for. I made it my goal to enjoy my time-growing-short in this city. Even though I've lived here twice as long as I lived in New York City, I have never felt at home in Vancouver, I have always felt like an expat, a student just passing through. But with a lot of hard work, I have made a life here, and some semblance of a home.
Day after day through summer, I would pack up Lucy and Julianne and everything we could possibly need in our zippy red jogging stroller and head out--to the playground, to the wade pool, to the splash pad, to the beach. The weather was incredible. Day after day of sunshine and temperatures topping out in the mid 80s. The sun sparkled on the water, glinted on bubbles on twilit evenings, warmed my chill bones, gave color to my skin, made growing things glow green.
Baby and I would sit in the shade of a tree and watch Lucy abandon herself in the joy of play (do you remember the delight of losing yourself in play? It was a joy just to watch). She would turn her wise brown eyes back to look at me, brimming with happiness or pride at a new accomplishment. "I did it, Mom, I was brave!" (She's learning to be brave! If that doesn't make you catch your breath, then check your pulse because you're not living.) Or Julianne would turn to her sister at dinner and laugh uncontrollably with delight that she had a front row seat to such an amazing human being. Or Clint and I would look to one another eagerly, our eyes saying without words "Did you see that? Did you hear how amazing this life is?" Our reality was almost too beautiful to look at.
I clung to that beauty because it felt like all I had in the vertigo of this waiting place.
I found myself slipping, by mid-July I felt clouds of anxiety, depression and panic gathering. Joy would break in for a moment, like a blinding ray of sunshine. But in the midst of the waiting, the everyday joy born of noticing everyday beauty was almost painful.
I tried to just keep showing up. And showing up again.
I think, by God's grace, it worked.
Now we are packing up, making choices, moving toward the next rest stop on our journey: Calgary, where Clint's parents live. And it will be a place to rest. A place to catch our breath a little bit. A place for me to write what will hopefully be the last major draft of my book, to find the voice buried deep in its bones and let it out.
But--oh!--Lord have mercy on my battered nerves while we pack. Suddenly I understand what women down through the ages have been referring to when they spoke of their Nerves. I have them too, and they are under assault. But. There are already twenty four boxes packed, twenty nine days until we have to hand over the keys to our tiny apartment, and a bucket list of things to do and see "one last time."
Here. we. go.