One more week until we move into our new house. A week tomorrow, at this time, we will be there, the three of us curled up in one bed. Howard will probably be reading and me writing, or watching something.
It has taken a long time, a longer time than either of us had imagined, to find our way back here. Not just to York, but to a place where Howard has a job he likes, and where we have found a home right for us. With just one week to go, I feel as if I can call it our home now without worrying too much that it might all fall through last minute.
(Six months of upheaval and stress can lead one to imagine that such good times are unlikely to last)
In truth, there have been so many things about the last six months of value. Times that were genuinely good. Spending time with people I so rarely get to see. But there has been an almost neverending undercurrent of stress, for many reasons, that has become so regular I know it will take a little while to learn how to completely relax again. Perhaps the most valuable thing to take from the kind of journey we have had is a clearer and firmer understanding of what we want our family to be and what we need (and don’t need) in our lives to make that happen.
But the past few weeks have been, for the most part, different – things have felt lighter, brighter and possible once again. And as soon as we felt this change in the air (I don’t know what it was – something in us perhaps, born out of necessity, and we both felt it) good things started to happen once again.
When we found this house, we knew instantly it was a good thing. The story of this house and how it came to be ours is one of those lovely and unusual tales of timing and circumstance and what some may call luck, or karma, but what I would guess is more the consideration and effort of good friends.
And once we saw it, once we walked up the drive past the front garden filled with lavender and rosemary and other herbs, once we saw the hallway filled with light, the smaller third bedroom just the right size for a crafting studio, once we saw the back garden and the greenhouse, we felt that thing you feel when you discover a good friend or a good film – that feeling of rightness. And everything that followed felt right too. Things seemed to fit. Just down the road from our very good friends, on the way to Howard’s new job, at just the price we were looking for. Good things, all together.
And now we are here. Counting down the minutes until we can fill a space that is our own once again. I am dreaming of paint colours and nooks, of craft studios and bunting, of a hammock, garden tables and chairs, lanterns. Most of all, I am dreaming of space and of home and of that sacred freedom just to be us – that thing we carry with us that needs a place to live and breathe freely, without fear, without editing.
This family we imagine for ourselves needs tending, and a place to tend to it in. For the family we make and the friends we love (our friends are our family). The people we have mindfully chosen and weaved into this picture we are always drawing. This home feels like a good family home, and I look forward to filling it with the colours and sounds and rhythms of our family life.