The Thing To Know on a Day (or Month) of Firsts
Ahh, this feels good, sitting down to tap fingers on keys. There have been a variety of firsts these last few days.
First night to sleep in the new home on Thursday.
First shower in the new place — nope, sorry, it wasn’t Friday morning. I left grungy and ready for a morning of cleaning the old house and returning the Uhaul truck.
(Don’t even ask about the toothbrush. You won’t want to know. Apparently, toothbrushes and deodorant will be the items left behind at the old house when moving, in case you wanted to know. …Um, Friday evening, if you were wondering.)
First time I brewed coffee in this new house, after ransacking cupboards and boxes to find the beans, the grinder, and the glass French Press.
First sunrises, first sunsets. First time to fully watch where the sun traces shadows and light across the backyard, and calculating where we’ll put the raised garden bed frames, still caked with black dirt from our last house’s yard.
“Are you excited?” one of my youth group girls asked me, as I drove her to the other house to retrieve her green backpack.
“Well, we like this new house and are thankful to God for it, but we love the old house too. When we moved into the old house we thought we would be there for years, so we settled in, creating memories, dreaming of the future, making plans.
It’s like stopping a book, halfway through,” I grinned at Michael, glancing over at her as I shifted up in gears on the quiet road. A fellow book lover and artist, she gets this.
“Now I’m in a new book, and it’s a great book, but it feels odd to have stopped reading the other book, only halfway through.” Our two years in the other house felt like introductory chapters, with the plot just starting to pull together.
“This will be a great book too, I know,” I said, smiling at Michael as we pulled into the driveway, “but we’re feeling mixed emotions and some sadness too at saying goodbye.”
Wednesday morning and afternoon, my parents and close friend Shari and I dug up raspberry, strawberry, and rhubarb plants from the old house. We hoisted out withered-looking ferns, white shasta daisies, and yellow-budded flowers. Fingering through moist soil, we combed and fretted out innocuous gnarled bulbs of tulips, crocuses, and tall purple alliums. Hauling buckets of dirt and plants into our vehicles, we drove them to the new house. Before any tables or couches saw the inside of the new house, we spent the day slicing into soil and grass, burying roots and fragile wisps of life, anticipating their future beauty.
Along the side of a grey metal shed now stand eight crinkly-leaved raspberry plants. Three rhubarb shrubs lean awkwardly nearby. Each day we soak their roots in water, knowing this stage is tremulous.
In our mind, though, we know what they look like full-grown. We have seen them in good health, resplendently red and green, giant leaves like elephant ears, crowded and abundant. We have seen these plants in their glory, rooted deep in the earth, watered and soaking in the Light, and we know what’s coming.
The days pass, our excitement mounts as we settle into this new home, and the sun has just risen, arcing a few hours ago over the maple and fir trees to my left. Those raspberries and shasta daisies? Their leaves are unfurling in the Light, roots sinking lower.