As I mentioned in my previous blog post, at this point written weeks ago, this fall has been a time of transition for our family. When we moved to New Hampshire six years ago, we fell in love with a small Waldorf School on top of a hill and knew it was the safe, warm, healing place we’d been seeking for our children. On top of another nearby hill, we found a 200-year-old house with fireplace hearths and apple trees and stone walls that whispered, “You’re home,” when we walked through the front door. Others spoke to us of high schools and local school districts, but we loved the Waldorf School and the old house, and besides, high school was forever away.
And then six years passed…
and Tucker was graduating from 8th grade, his last year at Waldorf. And suddenly the issue of high school and school districts was upon us. And Tuck fell in love with a school 45 minutes away from our old home on top of the hill. And I wondered how I’d get him to that new school, and Andie to her 7th grade class in the Waldorf School.
And thus began even more transition.
And we soon discovered that our dear Andie is a child resistant to change, a child who needs an enormous amount of time to process decisions. Ultimately, she chose to move to the school where her brother had enrolled, but it was a spring and summer full of tears and great angst. And as much as Lee and I knew that new school was a wonderful fit for her, the frequent nights she cried herself to sleep left us lying in bed, wide-eyed, questioning our decision.
And now here we are, a month into the new school year, with all those questions behind us, knowing that both children are exactly where they’re meant to be, broadening and thriving in their new school.
And I finally let out an enormous exhale, only to find that I’m absolutely wrung dry.
And all I want is for all of this change to be over and behind us.
“I think we’re passed the transition phase,” I said to Lee last week. “That we’ve got this all figured out.” Because that’s what I do – jump in with both feet, give it everything I’ve got and aim for the finish line. Only once again, I’ve come to find out that the finish line doesn’t exist.
That transition is perpetual.
transition – the process or period of changing from one state or condition to another.
And isn’t that just what we’re constantly doing “changing from one state or condition to another” in each and every moment of everyday?
Walking through the woods this past weekend, thinking about transition and where I am in my life right now, the same question kept running through my mind… What’s next?… What’s next?… What’s next? I walked in rhythm to that chant until I hardly recognized it was there. I walked on until I emerged from the woods and saw a friend out in her garden. I sat down on her stonewall and found my chant spilling out into formed words. “I don’t know what’s next,” I told her, explaining how straight out of college I’d started teaching in Boston. How just months after Tucker’s birth I’d started after-school creative writing workshops, and how upon moving to New Hampshire, I’d thrown myself into the process of writing, publishing and promoting a book. And now, I had no idea what was next.
Picking up a few of the hydrangea she’d just cut, my friend paused. “I guess I’m using this time in my life to refill my well,” she said. Her words seemed to float in the air, enveloping me in their simplicity.
“You’re allowed to do that?” I asked, both of us laughing and sighing simultaneously.
The rest of my walk home brought a new theme song; the What’s Next song, replaced by the Refilling My Well song. And that new music washed over me like a joyous symphony.
I’m just discovering what refilling my well looks like, but I’m pretty sure that in between making breakfasts, packing lunches, washing soccer uniforms, gluing letters on poster board projects and driving back and forth to school and soccer games, it involves lots more long walks, yoga classes, hand-written letters to old friends, wandering through garden and vintage shops, meditating on my yoga mat, diving into the stack of books piled on my bedside table and filling the pages of my black and white composition notebooks with new thoughts, stories and observations. What I also see in that “Refilling My Well Picture” is a more present, centered me, ready to meet and welcome my children back into our home, the place that waits for them as they move further and further out into the world.
This blog has been a place I’ve so loved meeting you every week for the past couple of years, but I feel it’s now time to close my computer for a while and allow those fresh story and writing ideas to emerge as I begin this well-filling process. I will so miss our connection, but as heavy as my heart feels, I know for now, that this is the right decision.
Thank you so much for being a part of this journey and allowing me to share in yours. I am deeply grateful.
With blessings and much love,