Monday, 15 January 2018

A Year Later

It was two years ago that we started to plan our change in course as a family, and it's been half as long since I've written here.

Zinadine's there - he's running ahead, of course...
It was also almost two years ago that I packed up my studio and we put it, and most of our other worldly belongings, into storage. Our cat Shadow moved in with my brother, for which we were very grateful. The process was emotional and yet freeing, in ways we did not expect. After our travels, when we returned briefly to our home, it was to the stylised house we had curated for its sale, not truly the home in which we had grown as a family.

I don't recognise this house; it looks like grown-ups live here.....
Bye house!
Then every final book and toy and art project and every last piece of furniture joined the assemblage in storage, and we lived out of our backpacks (well, a backpack and carry-on each - luxury!) again.

We spent the end of the summer of 2016 house-sitting for various friends and family, and then in September moved into our furnished rental in Hamilton, Ontario. We brought a few boxes (and our clothes!) into the house from our old possessions, but mostly made due without.

There should always be flowers on moving day....
We were on the hunt for a farm.

And instead, in June of 2017, for many different reasons, we found a house in Hamilton....for now ;-)

It has roses!
Fortunately, we were very very lucky. It is a lovely little light-filled house oddly perfectly suited to us in a location that is, again, perfectly suited to us, with what have turned out to be great neighbours! It did need a fair amount of work, which together we laboured through this past summer. Learned some new skills, we did.

And added some new fluffy additions to the family we did:

Say hi to angora bunnies Sherlock River Brutus Pedestrian Floofy III and Foofy.

Say hi to Streamer. Her buddy Lamborgh is hiding.
Just before Christmas we put the last coat of paint on in the last room that needed doing. And then we purchased some shelves and finally unpacked the last of the boxes: my studio and the books.

As I was sliding books onto shelves, manouvering past sleeve catching cardboard box-flaps and welcoming each book as if it were new, a welcome emotion washed over me. The emotion of home. I felt the same way as I put my fabric out. Grounded, centred, content in a deep way. This place is good. It will do.

Hello old friends....

What is also true (as a wise friend gently reminded me recently) is that over the past year and a quarter, a significant portion of my energy and attention had been gobbled up by settling into our temporary home and the never-ending search for a more permanent home. And the inescapable ruminating over what impact these changes were having on the kids. I tried to stay balanced and incorporate our usual fun and exploration (lowering expectations always helps ;-) and though I grew in some ways, especially in connecting with friends old and new, there were things that got neglected, most critically my creative self and some of my other personal goals.

I have made to time to make some things....

For a couple of days this past week I had been down, and stuggling to feel the worth of my work, in that kind of existential, what-am-I-even-doing kind of way. Even though I'm literally sitting as I type in the middle of one of the results of my hard work, as a parent my first instinct is to think that finding a home and making it a good one really is the least I can do*, so the worth seems nebulous and not concrete. (*With the understanding that in this world it is not always easy to do and that we are incredibly fortunate to be able to do so. Just sayin')

But then I had the inclination to go back over photos, over this blog, and I was reminded of why I used to write here and why I might want to continue. "Oh," I thought. "That's right, I do things!" Good things, concrete things; makings and get-togethers and workshops and connections in which I find worth.

I like this space as a witness to our daily lives. A place where I can process what happens, share it with people I love (hi all!), and maybe even with people I don't know yet.

I'm willing to see what happens here. Again.

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