This is a difficult post to write. Not because I don't want to write it, but because there re so many factors I want to do justice to, so many complex aspects that deserve to be noted.
After three short years in this house we now call home, we are moving yet again. Not too far away, but enough that it will mean significant changes in our lifestyle. We had not planned or wanted to move-- we were requested to move in order to become more involved in the process of community development alongside others we have come to know and love. As members of the Baha'i Faith, our foremost desire is to be of service to humanity. That is the underlying goal and guiding principle behind all we choose to do. So. When one of the institutions of our Faith asks us to move so that we can be of more direct service as an entire family (via participating in the system of providing spiritual and moral education for children, junior youth and youth), well, we wanted to do that.
It has been a long and difficult process. The request to relocate came last fall. We tried to rent out our current house, but had no takers. We scoured the local real estate market for a place to move into, but came up empty handed. Again and again. In the midst of my studies, we had to scale back and wait for spring to try one last time. So about a month ago, on a bit of a whim and as a last desperate attempt of sorts, we wrote up a Craigslist ad for this house of ours. And within three days we had five different people vying to rent it. Actually, the people who will be moving in after us requested a long term lease instead. Which is much, much better for us. It sounds straightforward now, but there was a point when the entire women's rugby team was milling around in our driveway wanting to rent the place when we found ourselves laughing hysterically and wondering what on earth we were thinking. So. Anyway. Perfect tenants lined up within three days. Yay!
Except. We still had nowhere to go. The town we are moving to is tiny, with a limited real estate market. I think we have peered at every single house in that place. We made multiple offers on homes, only to have them inexplicably fall through at the last minute. Then last Friday, we went to see a century old farmhouse. Yellow, on an acre and a half that backed onto forest, with a beautiful garden and orchard and outbuildings. It was a total fixer-upper, and it was beautiful. But it was also twenty minutes outside of the community we were meant to be getting involved with. We sighed, shook our heads and walked away. If it were the dream lifestyle we were chasing, we had just found it. But this move wasn't supposed to be about us in that way-- this move was so that we could have our front door open to neighborhood kids and our backyard overrun with junior youth. It was hard to walk away from it, but freeing once we did.
Yet we were still homeless. On Saturday, our good friend called. His next door neighbors had decided to sell their house, but hadn't listed it yet. Would we be interested? Um, yes. Simon had left at this point (he still isn't home yet), so my mum and I went to meet the neighbors and check out the house. They were lovely. They had been praying about a resolution to their house as they were trying to move to a new property to help develop their church. We said yes. They said yes. And now we will have a home right next door to some of our dearest friends once we get all of this darn paperwork sorted out.
It is not a dream house. There are no pretty mouldings or tile or even exciting carpet. But it is solid and it is right in the heart of everything, and it is very clear to all of us involved that this is just precisely where we are meant to be.
The children will continue in their same school. I will now have a forty-five minute commute to school. But I don't mind that as I suspect that will become my only alone time in the next while, and writing requires a good deal of quiet alone time-- so in a way, I think this is my gift.
There is a lot going on now. So much needs to be done, we have a house to relocate, and another to get into pristine condition, and all those odds and ends that need to get tended to... It is overwhelming at times. Our underlying feeling though, is one of gratitude and great joy. If you follow my instagram feed, you will have seen this photo:
All we have to do is take that first step, and trust in the rest. And be willing to do the work, of course.
Anyway, that is what has been going on in the background, behind the final exams and projects, and it is why I have had to take a break here. Thank you for following along with us, with all your kindness and support. If you have been reading this blog from the beginning, you will have seen our Nsumbu and Cedar road houses in Zambia, the two houses in Malawi, and the house we are in now. I hope we can settle into our new place for a good while. But since we've been married, three years in one house has been our record- and that's only happened twice!
Maybe this new beginning can be new in more ways than than one.