There is a part of me that desperately wants to stay in the city. I’ll miss the closeness of the old homes, walking the kids back from school, seeing neighbors at the grocery store and the post office and the playground and everywhere in-between. I’ll miss the ease of community, how it happens just because we’re all right there together and life overlaps in ways we don’t plan.
There is a part of me that desperately wants to stay in the city.
But I have to admit, there’s a larger part of me that wants to be the family that stays in the city. I want us to love that life, to thrive there and raise our children to be city dwellers, ones who encounter all manner of people in the course of an everyday and are better for it. I want chain restaurants and franchised coffeeshops to remain unfamiliar to their urban sensibilities. I want them to never hesitate to say hi to Rita as she walks past our house several times a day, always think nothing of offering her a coat in the winter or a glass of ice water in the summer. I want to watch them stand on the fence and wave at Mr. Charlie as he walks to and from the bus stop, to insist on pausing our afternoon walk to pet Hero the dog through the chainlink two doors down, to ask for a blueberry muffin from Dan and Ellen at the bakery every Saturday until kingdom come.
I want those things for me and for them because I love it here. I love it all.
But then we visit my mom. We drive the long road past the horse barns and cattle, past the lake, past the sailboats in the harbor, and we arrive at a house that feels like home. There’s a fire in the fireplace and chili on the stove and the kids’ bikes are parked in the garage because they have room to ride them here. The children run to examine the Christmas tree, followed by an inspection with six little hands of the ceramic nativity scene I’ve known since childhood. These things happen in the span of two minutes, and immediately our moods lift. The stress my husband and I share in this beautiful life – the stress that at times is almost palpable and was evident even in our conversation on the drive over – it is eased just by being here.
Maybe it’s the presence of family and the memories of childhood and of my dad who’s gone to be with Jesus. Maybe it’s the large yard that backs up to the woods and offers room to for our children and our spirits to run. Maybe it’s the water and the way the sunset lights up the trees.
All I know is life makes more sense here. We make more sense here.
I am terrified of leaving the life we’ve made, the home and the people we know. But I can’t say no to the pull I feel – the pull we feel – to leave it for something better. Not better for everyone, not better for the us of eight years ago, but better for us today. Better for us tomorrow.
We’ve been given such a good life. May we never refuse to leave it because we don’t believe there could be something better, there could be something good that’s next.
I think it is our time. I can feel it in my gut.
Here goes nothing… and everything.
On December 17, I sat down in the living room of my mother’s house and typed these words on my phone. A few days later we made an offer on an old, white farmhouse outside the city, near her home. In the weeks since, we’ve packed up and moved out of our home of 8 years, and it sold days ago. Nothing and everything, indeed.
We are grateful. We are exhausted. We are excited about the adventure to come. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes; keep ‘em coming. xo