Beginner's Heart

via pixabay

via pixabay

Today, as I listened to the housing inspector recite the (very small) flaws our new house has, I thought about change. About moving, about uprooting, about transplanting.

My garden is full of transplants — the azaleas from my mother’s, the dwarf crape myrtle moved from one side of the house to another. The 2 peonies moved from a shady back bed to the front, where they happily bloomed this spring.

I say that I am used to moving. More accurately, I am familiar with it. I haven’t moved in 20 years. Really — two decades of stability, for this child of peripatetic parents. My beloved & I promised that our children would go to school in the same district, make friends they could keep. Learn a place well. We have done that — rooted ourselves deeply.

And now we’re leaving it all behind. Pulling up those established roots to settle ourselves in a totally new place.

via wikimedia

via wikimedia

I’m a good gardener; I know what makes transplants survive. You move them gently. Quickly. Water them in well, so there are no spaces of emptiness around their roots. And then you leave them alone, to settle. It’s a good metaphor. Except that we are moving more quickly than my beloved would prefer, and we found the house more quickly, and we have to fix our current house up quickly…and it’s all so fast! But there will be time — eventually — to settle in.

Already we’re planning visits from family to the new house, for holiday breaks. Two months to settle in, and then time to celebrate. There almost certainly won’t be as many of us at once. But there will be some of us each time, and we will form new traditions and write new stories.

Because I know what else transplants need: gentle feeding. And for this beginner’s heart? Food is as much metaphorical as literal: stories built on getting together. Laughing, catching up, and sharing real food — youngest sister’s broccoli cheese casserole, niece’s newest creation, my tabbouleh & hummus. And whatever the new people in our lives — the latest additions to our growing family — bring with them.

I can do this, despite the 20 years I’ve rooted myself deeply in my current house & life. I can make a new garden, transform a house into a home. In other words? I can transplant & survive. Heck — I can THRIVE.  😉 But I’m going to need gentle handling for a bit. Just like any new transplant…

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