I’m writing in reference to an assignments’ reflection questions…how has COVID 19 effected my mental…
The Truck Driver:
I was ten.
It was the time during the biggest migration experience I had had up til then, it was that move my family made from Bay Village, Ohio to Chesterfield, Missouri. There was a big moving truck, lots of boxes, we ate all the rabbits out of the freezer during those last days, eating remaining cereal boxes from the pantry, closing details of departure. I wrote my teacher a letter and sent a assigned story I had written, saying goodbye, telling him to tell everyone that I said goodbye. It’s interesting to read now, quite revealing, my voice, the choice of words. Interesting to look back at this me, was I unaware, unprepared?
Therapy helps… No, just ten and ready to sail with the imagination driving, making it up along the way.
Here’s a bit from, The Never Forgotten Story, by Me.
School assignment mailed to Mr. Corrigan and Westerly Elementary School Bay Village, Ohio.
March 3rd 1975
” On the night of June 7 1882 I had been sailing on a cargo delivery. We were suddenly in the middle of a storm. It had been a disaster for me and my crew. We had lost many men. After a period of three days and two nights the storm had died down. I awoke with a dead crew. “
Now I am 55.
On the night of September 30, 2019, I locked the big Uhaul, parked, tightly packed, in front of Karen and Randy’s.
We began our migration to Maine in their house, showers and food they made for us, their door open, we’d spend the night there.
The plan, drive this truck, hauling the car hauler trailer with my old Buick, Teri’s Tacoma packed high Beverly Hillbillies-like with enclosed trailer in tow, across east to Missouri. There we would grab some rest, visit family, and I’d somewhat go through and pack up the contents of a storage locker of my stuff. Required rental of another big Uhaul, the return of the trailer Teri pulled, all another step on this migration.
Migration is for the birds.
We are swimming in the deep end now it seems. Not to worry.
The help we have recieved is very much remembered and so appreciated. The hard work, the time figuring out how to get as much of the precious packed as possible into limited space. Impossible without the generosity of our family and friends that joined us along this trip. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
During a life we all help someone move don’t we? It’s a big deal getting a new place, uprooting, resettling. Our circumstances moving now are by choice and towards good we believe.
An adventure, nonetheless. Good
The point I hope to express is that in looking back here, the support and assistance we received, the encouragement, we have so much love around us. For that I am grateful.
The story of us migrating to Maine has many, many parts. I want to tell you this one. I drove the Uhaul up our long gravel driveway with a turnaround that circles a big Maple tree. My brother and sister, Mark and Mimi were in the second truck coming up the hill behind me. Before we got there I had imagined arrival. Would I kiss the ground? Roll around on the grass in my new yard? Yeah, all imagined. Instead I pulled to a stop there in front of this big beautiful Albatross of a house, took a short walk to the steps, in the door I walk, and with a loud shout, ” Yeeahhh ! ” Thank God!
We made it all the way. No harm, loss, seemingly protected, delivered home.
Thanks to Karen and Randy, Dave and Amanda, Liz, Antonio and Justyna, Rebecca, Riley of the Paynes of course, Sam, Anthony and ZACH!, Cathy, Katie, Matthew, Columbia Dad, Tom, Ellen, Robert PACO, John, Mark, Matt, Carl, Paul, Mom, because she is and Mimi.
When I was ten, the language of the story as I reread it, I see me. The imagination, the lust for excitement, more of all of it. The insecurity of change and unknown, at ten. Have I changed? Yes. I see gratitude for people and the recieved love given by those we know. Such an adventure.
In this storm of a move we emerge just fine and in this place now close to the sea, my imagination looks to the water.
Come visit and see!
It’s Friday. I sit in the bay windows of my art studio looking out towards the water, the village and our massive wood pile. It’s stunningly beautiful…even as flurries of snow swirl around in gale force winds. Gale warning is what the weather says. There are white caps out on the water. Only very experienced fisherman with the right equipment should be out there today. That’s what the weather says. We love our new home and we love where it is. We moved here…we live here…that’s what we keep saying to ourselves and to whomever will listen as if saying it out loud will make us really believe it. Every person we have met has been so nice. We’ve moved to the place we loved to come to on vacation.
I had a thought many years ago while I was here on vacation sitting down on the water. What do I love about vacation and how can I organize my real life so that it incorporates some of those things. I made a list and then adjusted my life so that it did include pieces of things that I love about vacation every day rather than just moving through my days towards the goal of a vacation.
Years later I started thinking bigger. What kind of life do I dream of? Where is it? Pull out that pen…make some lists. Do some writing.
Imagine. Set intentions. Believe. Have faith. Trust. Manifest. What you believe will happen. What do you believe…really believe? Let go and trust.
The words of stickers, Instagram posts and books.
Trust and believe are mighty big words with an even mightier opposition: fear.
I’ve been thinking about a move like this for many years…waiting for some clarity…some idea of where or what it would look like. I set intentions and wrote about my dreams and then I set them again and again every day, as if I didn’t, the universe might forget what my intentions were.
I read a Rumi quote, “ live as though you trust your God”. Bingo. I had set my intentions and my dreams …now could I just get out of the way and let things unfold.
Time passes, I meet Adam in the most perfect way. Suddenly life opened up. Potagers 20 year party clearly and overwhelming honored the work I had been doing in a way bigger than I could have imagined. I hired a chef that wanted his own restaurant and then he wanted mine. Someone made a film about my life and my business. It was an incredible ending. Adam and I fell in love with what seems to be the perfect house in the perfect place for us. My house sold within 24 hours.
Here we come! Even with all this effortless path opening….even in the face of such clarity…fear raises it’s head over and over.
The human condition…fear of the unknown. None of us knows how things will turn out or even how they’ll go on the way to turning out. Routines keep me calm…feeling safe. For me, it’s routine that keeps me grounded. I have routine practices that ground me first thing in the morning. Routines actually meant to prepare me for letting go of everything…or used to. Systems. At work there were clear systems, practices, routines…a little like managing traffic. If we all know what we’re supposed to do we won’t crash into each other. We are safe. We know what to expect. At least that’s what we believe.
We are all afraid, I think, when we don’t know how things are going to go. A fear that wears all kinds of masks and hats…presenting in as many ways as there are people and situations. I hope that I can learn to recognize it and let it go without giving it all of my attention. I want to see past it to the opportunities to grow. However, my ego likes to feel safe and safety means control. Safety means having all the players and pieces in just the right order so that I know how things are going to turn out. Planning. Organizing. In the face of fear, the ego gets mighty big. Good God. It’s exhausting. I’m learning about that. I’m looking at a lifetime of work managing people, organizing and keeping surprises at least less surprising. Taking less risk. At some point, this feels stagnant and I start dreaming a different dream. What I have learned along the way is that it isn’t just routine that makes us feel safe…it is community. I belong to the community I am in like I have never belonged before. Being held by our communities in the face of change is the only thing that gives us the real courage to jump. I do believe we need risk and change… and with those….FEAR in order to grow. We need community to lift us up, pick us up, encourage us towards our dreams and believe in our abilities.
Every single routine and system in my life has disappeared. Home, classes, business, pets, city life, community, recognition….and now I am living in a house in Maine with my husband… and get this…we have not actually lived together daily. Ever. I’ve been working hard to figure out how to get myself grounded…working hard to put some kind of order or system in place so that I feel safe. We have both been working very hard. This community seems to expand with our entrance. There is room for us and the welcome we are receiving is perfect.
Adam says give it time. Give us time. Every bit of this is new to both of us and we are both having our own struggles. In that moment there was a shift… in myself and between us. I stopped being so afraid. I stopped working so hard to create something that I was familiar with and started looking at what I actually have. I wanted this. I stepped right off into this unknown, yet my ego has been fighting like a drowning swimmer to find some footing. Suddenly, I have picked up my feet and started floating. I’m breathing again. Adam and I are laughing and playing again. We are a team. We dreamed, jumped…holy shit it is scary…and then figured out how to embrace it. In that moment it has become really beautiful….really spirit soaring beautiful.