It's finally here!
Tomorrow, I get on an airplane (well, actually two airplanes) and travel to my new home on Vancouver Island. Weeks, months and years of plotting, scheming, dreaming and preparation culminate in tomorrow's transition from "old life" to "new life."
Our family will live under one roof again! We can unpack our boxes and crates and suitcases! I can let go of the logistical lists in my brain -- What's packed where? What still needs to be sold/given away? What needs to be shipped when and by what method? What keys need to be returned? Accounts closed? Thank-yous delivered? Good-byes said? Hugs hugged? How will we fit all these end-of-the-school-year items in our suitcases? -- and maybe relax for a day, or thirty, or a hundred-and-sixty-three.
This dream of moving to BC started with Marc's first motorcycle trip out there, and grew during our first family vacation to Nelson. The climate, the lushness, the opportunities to be outdoors without our faces hurting or being bitten by a bazillion bugs, the slow and gentle pace of life, the lack of harshness, of mere survival through several months of the year...it all called to us.
The whole drive home from the Kootenays that summer, we planned how we could move...what would need to sell/unload/downsize, what kind of work we could do, where Chloe would go to school...and by the time we got home to the farm two days later, practicalities set in and we stayed put. We had good jobs. We just built our forever farm house. Our families are close by. Our friends and doctors and vet and massage therapists and hair stylists and favourite restaurants are here. We have a good life.
Then the next summer, it started again. And the next. Until we decided this was really a thing we wanted to do. So, Marc aggressively pursued employment, turned down a few offers that didn't quite get us where we wanted to be, until the perfect opportunity landed in his lap. He moved and started his new gig mid-September, while Chloe, Morris and I listed the house and farm for sale, purged the stuff, kept the house clean for showings and potential showings, and carried on with school and work and normal life stuff.
Then the farm sold (huzzah!) and things got real. Marc and our awesome, patient, knowledgeable realtor looked at many, many houses in Victoria, and once the cash cleared from the sale, we started putting in offers. We were disappointed when our "aggressive" offer on a great place in a great neighbourhood was outbid. That house went for $101,500 over asking. Yikes. Then, a place that worked for us appeared. Marc looked at it and Facetimed me through it. Then he drove back to the farm to help pack the house up. Through the magic of the interwebs and our awesome, patient, knowledgeable realtor, we put in an offer and had the winning bid. Huzzah again!
I gave notice at my corporate gig. We had a big house-cooling party. We packed. We purged. We sold. We shipped. Morris and Marc returned to the Island. Chloe and I and four suitcases moved in with family to finish out the school year.
And that brings us to today. Last day of school. Last (full) day of Saskatchewan. It's fitting our move comes on a full moon, the Strawberry Moon. Full moons are times of release and cleansing; times of acknowledging what was with gratitude and then letting go to make way for the new; times of completion and creative closure.
And so I reflect on my many years living on the Prairies, and how they've made me who I am.
Wide open spaces and endless skies ripe with possibility informed my sense of wonder, of I-can-do-and-be-anything-ness.
The strength of community coming together in times of sorrow, struggle and celebration is a given -- I know I will be caught if I fall or falter, and will create the community I need.
Practicality, hard work and perseverance engrained traits that will serve me well in figuring out a new city and province and what's next.
Connection to and respect for the land and the weather and all nature has to offer will provide me a lovely contrast for learning a new topography and climate and appreciation for the differences.
This will always be the place I am from. It will remain my definition of home. Its beauty will fill my memories. Its people, MY people, will continue to fill my heart. I hope to be a proud and honourable representative of this place and people in my new chosen community and province.
And I promise to visit. But probably not during winter. I don't like it when my face hurts.