women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Life We've Imagined

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined."

- Thoreau

Today, I am heading back south to Indianapolis. I no longer know which place is home. The drift northward has been a gradual thing.

It began several years back, before I ever wrote a word on this blog. Before I picked up my first stitch dictionary. Before sunflowers were anything special. To me anyway...

It began the first time I wondered, "What is this place like when it isn't summer?" When it first occurred to me that Leelanau county was more than - to quote Cherry Republic - "Life, liberty, beaches, and pie."

I was in seminary at the time, working on my masters degree. I called DH and said,"Hell with North Carolina. Let's move to Leland. And I don't want to wait until I have amassed the credits for a full degree. I'll switch to the WORD program and complete the shorter Writing as Ministry curriculum. We'll go as soon as Baby Boy graduates from high school."

That was seven or eight years ago. I switched programs, completed my classes, wrote a book, began a blog, started up a knitting design business, and still we live in Fishers Indiana.

This has been a long time comin'.

The butterflies got the best of me on Monday and Tuesday, as I waited for word from our Realtor.

So I took a little field trip. I drove down to the lot, climbed on top of my car, and just sat for a while, trying to get a feel for the land. I walked a little, prayed a lot, and came away with a good feeling.

Then I drove into Sutton's Bay and stopped at Thistledown Shoppe, the closest LYS, where Cherry Country had been on loan long enough to establish permanent residency and apply for a Michigan driver's license.

Kathy was gracious as always, and we had a nice chat about how the local knitters are scared of lace, and did I have anything else that I could teach.

Well, yeah...

Kathy introduced me to her staff and told them I was soon to be a local resident, hopefully a teacher, and definitely a new voice at Monday night knitting circle. They were very welcoming.

I went away with a copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman's The Opinionated Knitter, so I could knit a Tomten for Conner this Christmas, and three skeins of Shibui Baby Alpaca DK in cobalt blue, which will transform themselves at some point into a piece called "Big Blue."

I also went away with a nice warm feeling in my heart.

I stepped next door to Martha's Leelanau Table, where I sat at a sun drenched corner table, and enjoyed a fall salad with local produce and half of an apple and cheese panini.

The waitress told me she moved up here 25 years ago from the Detroit suburbs and never looked back. She invited me to take cooking classes or come to their Sunday night suppers, which were served family-style at one long table. "You'll meet people in no time," she offered.

I strolled down Main street to the Front Porch, where I picked up some of Sticky Fingers' tart cherry scone mix for the boys and saw a coffee mug with the above Thoreau quote on it. The mug somehow found its way into my bag. Now how did THAT happen?

I believe in synchronicity. I believe in messages from God. I believe that life is a whole and we will see how things work together for good if we pay attention.

And the message I got yesterday was exactly what I needed to hear and see.

I will move forward into the life we have imagined together. And I will drink my morning coffee from the mug to remind myself of our ultimate destination. And our commitment to it. And I will try each day to move that life a little closer.

The next two years will be hard. We will have two homes: the one we leave behind and the one we will move into. The one we built to raise our family in and the one we will build to welcome them back to the lake.

My sister told me last night, "I envy you. It is so exciting to move up here! To discover all the wonderful things this area has to offer." Then she sat me down for a humble supper of biscuits and gravy, prepared by loving hands, consumed with family. Another powerful reminder of what we are moving towards, rather than away from.

Negotiations continue for the property. I know there will be tough times ahead, as we invest our money, our energies, and our hearts into Afterglow. There is much to be done, from tidying up our current home and making long neglected updates and repairs, to putting our belongings into storage and renting while we build our dream. From saying goodbye to old friends, to making new ones.

But we have the luxury of choice, which many do not. We are fortunate indeed. We are blessed.

And the butterflies have flown elsewhere.

For now...


thaddeusrose said...

You already love your new home... it shows in your postings about Afterglow. When left the Houston area, a paid in full home and long time jobs and friends, I was very nervous. But we did it and I have never regretted it. Our choice was to do as much of the work building our new home as possible. I designed our home and my husband and I did most of the work, leaving only the heavy things we couldn't do to contractors. Yes, we still have work to do but it is a pleasure to see the results. You will have beautiful property and wonderful views to settle all those butterfies :-)

Creativehands said...

It was just such a nice, lovely blog entry to read.
Thank-you for sharing.

Rabbitknitz said...

Speaking of sunflowers, it sounds to me like you have already planted seeds in a new community. It is these seeds that put down roots and create new growth and life. You make it sound like such a wonderful place and I now have a terrible craving for a tart cherry scone...!

Kriti said...

I don't want to trample on your dreams, but sometimes you find the dream place and the dream life then tragedy.
So don't invest all your hopes in butterflies save some for the real world too.