I’m back…

I think.

It’s been a lovely, lovely little hiatus. Unplanned — which makes it all the sweeter, I suppose.

I’ve been unplugged from phones and the internet for the most part since we moved, and I’ve been enjoying the subsequent simplicity and quietness during this major transitional season in our lives. There has been so much to process — so much to say “good-bye” to and so much to learn. I have been alone — very, very alone — for the first time in my adult life… with no best friend right across the field and no community of dear families who have been there since I was eleven just down the road. I’ve done some longer-period traveling (including two summers in Europe) — but it has been the strangest, most unknown feeling to live in a strange city and in a strange state without a singe person knowing my name. I have never felt so thin and light — as if I might float away at any moment. Even my familiar belongings look strange in their new environment. Whose lamp is that? Does it belong to me? Where did all these books come from? It’s as if I am lost in an existential moment in time — with severed ties to the past and no known future. It’s an odd feeling. A feeling that I haven’t quite known what to do with.

Of course, I know that I am NOT living in an existential moment in time. I am the product of my past; I am irrevocably tied to my future — my feelings are only the natural result of leaving behind a lifetime of familiar patterns and people. In time I will learn to create new patterns; I will wear a new path along a new road. I will make friends and discover shortcuts to my favorite places. I will actually have favorite places.  I will no longer wake up disoriented and forget that I am not in my little house in the big woods, but rather in my big house in the little woods. Both me and my life will fill up again — with work and appointments and to-do lists and play-dates.

But in the meantime, this season of emptiness has actually been so sweet — like the gift of a sabbatical at home. There have been no phone calls, no internet, no appointments… nothing but time. Time with my awesome children to tell funny made-up stories and make cavernous blanket-tents in the living room… Time with my husband to dream about the future like we did when we were younger and were just starting out… Time to worship and commune with God in a marvelous intimacy because it’s only He and I — uninterrupted… Time to sit alone and read… or just stare out the window at the snow — acutely aware of my utter aloneness — but actually savoring it. It’s been like setting the clock back. Or getting a second chance to start all over. The slate is wiped clean. And it feels so good — even in the emptiness.

But, like all seasons, this one has an end, and the end is soon. I can’t be alone forever. I don’t want to be alone forever. I am getting my feet under me; I am bravely introducing myself to nice-looking moms at the Library and I am starting to turn my computer on again. I’m getting my camera out more often and I’m calling old friends on my cell phone just to catch up.

It’s official.

I live in Idaho now.