Holding On

Home at the Johnston Farm

Our own home has sold and closing has happened.  And we have found a wonderful place to live in Missouri, complete with a front porch and a garden. (Sorry, it’s not what you see in this photo.)  In just a few weeks we will be unpacking in our new home, and hopefully the cats will adjust.

My replacement has been hired at work and I am training her, a difficult task in that so much of my work is stuff I do automatically over and over…and how do you teach that.  

Today I find that I just kind of look at the house here and think of what I can sort through, and then I’m stuck. Just stuck.  Can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other and begin.  Because if I begin that means this is really happening.

The piano has gone to its new home and a photo sent to me shows all three children in that family sitting together on the piano bench and playing.  Making music of their own.  I am so happy that they wanted to take this on, that the piano can now make its beautiful music like it needs to.  

This moving thing happens in the middle of all the rest of life.  It kind of takes over, but life still happens, the truck that needs repair, the failing health of parents, the joys of new life and new beginnings, and the mundane daily tasks.  

But because it is such a monumental thing, this move, this change of residence and places to work and live, it feels as though the very ground I stand on is shifting.  A virtual earth quake?  How do I keep balance?  

What do I need to hold on to?

If anything has changed with this move it is my understanding of home.  

While I really enjoy decorating and creating a beautiful space in a house, I know now that what makes it home is the people with whom I share that space.  Home is all about relationships.  

Wherever my husband is, there I am home.  

And when I have the opportunity to share time and space with my children and their own families, that sense of belonging, of home sweet home, returns.  

I can say the same about gatherings with my own family of origin, though as health issues affect my parents the fragility of that virtual place increases.  

Even more than this, more than the family ties, the bonds of friendship that have forged over the years…ah.  These places in the heart.  This is home.

Because, where else can you be your best self other than with a true friend?  Or even be your worst self?  

In that sanctuary of friendship we find unconditional love, acceptance, understanding, and the space to grow, to be who we really are.  

I agree with that phrase, “Home is where your heart is.”  Because in my heart will always be those friendships, those relationships, this wonderful marriage with my husband, the incredible bond of love with my children, and those family ties.

That is what I’ll hold on to.

11 Comments

  1. Wow— are we ever on the same page! I just wrote a post about 'letting go' last night! Please visit me here: http://highwayc.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/release/
    I too, get photos of the new family that now lives on 'our farm'. I'm glad it has young energy again, but my heart longs for those days of dreams and new beginnings. We have a nice cabin in the woods now, near a lake… very different. It is taking me a long time to let go, and appreciate NOW. My youngest son is struggling too…. the farm is all he has known. He has his own house now, but is not feeling settled. (which makes ME feel less settled as well.) Oh my. Keep us posted on your move, and how you progress. I need to know!

  2. Deb, I was thinking of you just this morning, wondering how you were and how things were going with your move. This is such a poignant piece of writing. No matter how good the anticipated new things are, it's still painful to leave behind the much-loved old ones. My only advice (unasked for, I know) is, if you're really stuck about sorting through things, just pack it up and go through it at the other end. I realize it's not the "things" that are the issue, but the reality of the change. I think it will get easier once you just start. I wish we could sit down for a long talk over coffee. I wish I could give you a big hug! My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this huge transition.
    Peace and love,
    León

  3. Yes, home is where your favorite people are, for sure. I know you will ease the transition any way you can and also find little aspects of your new home to love.

  4. You write about this is beautifully, Deb. I can relate to this post too, because we moved 18 months ago, leaving our family home of 33 years. The physical and emotional work is exhausting. I think I was numb the week we moved, but within a month I started feeling at home again, and saw all the blessings that came with the big move. NowI don't look back anymore. I feel so lucky that I can enjoy the excitement of exploring a new community and putting down new roots.

  5. Since I moved around so much as a child, it didn't take long before I learned to not get too attached to things, especially homes. No home was ever permanent; we simply went from place to place. Even in college, I couldn't settle down. From dorm to a friend's apartment to several apartments of my own. Where I am now, I moved three times in the past two years already–but the last one is mine. Well, my husband's and mine. Our home.

    Now *that* is a difficult concept for me. Staying somewhere permanently–no more gypsy life, no more pack it up and go.
    I guess I have the reverse problem of most people.
    It's nice in a way though, because each move has gotten harder (with all these things we acquire). I'm almost even afraid to decorate because I never was allowed to drill holes for pictures in apartment walls and that sort of thing. We even took a bold chance when we had an entire room painted a bright blue color.
    Each little steps makes it ours though, and I am sure you will do the same for your new home. Good luck!

  6. Aren't we lucky that within this digital world our friendships are location independent? That we can continue these relationships – share our creative work – no matter where we are physically located? As we can hold on to the home we carry in our hearts, we can also hold on to the virtual world we have developed online. Best of luck with the sorting and packing and moving. Can't wait to see the images from your new front porch.

  7. I can't imagine what you must be going through. We only moved once since we've been married and that was 38 years ago. Looking forward to seeing your new home! I'll be praying for you as you!

  8. I think I need to bookmark this post. Downsizing is in our future…not sure when. All the stuff might not come with us, but the relationships will. Such a good point. Hang in there….praying for peace for you today, Deborah.

  9. It must be a giant of a task to be going thru all the memories of the place you called home. So difficult to say goodbye to the place and to all the friendships that have enveloped you. Peace be with you as you begin this new journey!!

  10. I know how tired you must be right now and the emotions that go along with this huge life change. We have moved so many times in our 30 years together and I agree with you, home is wherever we are together. I wish you wonderful things in your new home and look forward to hearing all about it … thanks for sharing about your piano having a new home as well, nice that they sent a that photo!

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