I learned this week that it's truly possible to feel two intense emotions at the very same time about the exact same situation. All week I had a lingering sense of sadness, which grew each day closer to today. Peppering the sadness were feelings of gratitude and joy which made it all more bearable. It was a week of change and transition, and a week to savour relationship.
This morning a big moving truck pulled onto our crescent onto our neighbor's driveway, and began to be filled. After it was full, it was driven only a few minutes away to be emptied out, all into a beautiful house full of possibility. I couldn't bear to see the truck get filled up this morning. I stayed inside. It was too much for me, so I sent Mike to capture the moment in time, because it tells a story.
The story goes back to early summer of 2001. That summer our family moved on to Robertson Crescent. We had an eighteen month old toddler and were excited about the space and the change we had found. Just around the corner from our house, with one in between, another family moved in the same summer. They had not one, but two daughters just a few months younger than Hannah! We couldn't believe our fortune!
In the years that have past, there is a well-worn path that passes from the front of our house to the front door of theirs. There have been countless trips, back and forth. Trips for eggs, oil, yeast, ketchup, chickpeas, Parmesan cheese, sour cream, and brown sugar. Other trips haven't collected things of the edible variety. We've also taken propane tanks, had pictures and homework printed and collected, and picked up emergency clothing items. There was the time I frantically delivered Hannah and Ellie in a wagon on a Saturday afternoon while I blubbered something about Mike nearly cutting off his finger with the hedge trimmer and needing to take him to the ER. We have walked over to meet a new puppy, and they have walked here to meet a new baby or two. We have sent girls over just to "see what Kiera and Thea are doing" when our house seemed small and moments seemed long. There have been countless hours of playing outside, swinging on swings, celebrating first rides on two wheelers on the street, pushing babies in strollers, allowing independence in allowing the girls to venture out to the school ground alone, walks and runs, sharing beers and BBQ'd feasts, calling over the fence, watching feet and bodies grow, telling stories and making memories.
I don't like change. If my world were perfect, things would stay the same. People in houses right where you want them, just as they've always been. But change comes and people grow and families move.
The family at the other end of the well-worn path moved today and things won't be the same.
Adrian likes to tell us that "if you walk it, we're only one kilometer away". And he's right, that's true. One kilometer isn't far, and my guess is that a new path will be worn in and we will find ourselves on the other end, long and often. But one kilometer is further than 100 steps. (And that will take some getting used to when I just need to borrow an egg.)
There is joy today too. Expectation for beginnings for old friends who get to create something new in a beautiful space. New space is full of possibility and room for new memories. This is the good stuff I am thinking about - the stuff that allows the sadness to not sit as heavy or as hard.
I wonder how long it will take for the grass on that path to grow in as full and as thick as the area around it? How long until I remember that I can't just get what I need with one phone call and a pint-sized courier? How long until that house is no longer "theirs" and again becomes just another house once again?
I'm glad the snow is covering up the path and hiding it. By the time spring comes, maybe that one kilometer path will have begun to look used, and not seem so far away.