It has been three weeks since our final move date and we are settling in to our new space. We are out of boxes, and it feels like home, but there are still those moments. Where are would I find a hammer? ... Did we bring this or that? ... Have you seen my phone? ... Where do we put the compost? ... We've all done it, right? Transition is a part of life. Moving, changing jobs, getting into and out of relationships. For some of us, it also includes joining a religious community, moving through the stages of formation, vows, changing local community and ministry, etc. And even discerning that it is time to leave my community, or move into a different religious community. Transitions, big or small, are a part of life.Once again, I have moved and am in that transition stage. The period before the move, all the arranging and packing and planning was certainly stressful. Now that we are here in the new space, we can begin the long slow process of settling in. And this too is part of the transition. I don't automatically feel right at home once the last box is unpacked (though that can certainly help).
In this move, we had two 'plant rescue' days and on 'house moving' day. In the prior rented space, we had a lot of native plants, and fruit and berry bushes, etc. A few weeks before the move, we called for friends to come and help us carefully dig up the various plants and move them to the new space and settle them in to new locations. This took a lot of planning and coordination as well as trusting in the gardening savvy of those who came to help.
The first plants have been here a few weeks longer than the people. And they to are experiencing their period of settling in. One particular flowering bush put out lots and lots of flowers as it was transplanted. This was its way of dealing with the stress. Other plants are very slow to leaf out; their way of dealing with the stress is to slow down and go a little dormant, while they adjust to the new space. Others are quite happy in their new space and are going on as if they never felt the move.
I have to say, I am taking a lesson from the plants. Some days, I scurry around making the place more a home - like my blooming bush. This makes me feel more at home and and softens the transition. Other days I slow down and have a hard time focusing and getting anything done. Finally, other days it feels quite normal to go ahead with life as usual.
There is an element of pilgrimage to life at times like this. I am looking for that city with foundations in the divine, whose designer and builder is the God of all. This move reminds me that however 'at home' I might get to feel here, even this is not my true home. The last place I lived for a few years was also not my home. Our true homeland is the home prepared for us from the foundation of the world. Each move we make, each step we take, each journey we make brings us closer to the center of our lives, to the home of our homes, to the heart of our heart.
So as I go through these days of transition, and as I watch the plants dig their roots into this new soil, I also recognize that I am digging my roots deeper into Holy Mystery and I am being fed and nourished by the God of all pilgrims.