Photographs of my daughters, once a week, every week, this 2014. Week 21.
Once upon a time, my husband and I lived in a roof top apartment. It was our first home, with just enough living space for two and a huge outdoor area that held some of our most memorable experiences as a newly married couple. We had a lot of memories in that rooftop, until we got pregnant and had to move to a bigger space on a lower floor.
Visiting the roof top apartment now, this time with our two little girls, makes me feel a little nostalgic. It wasn’t long ago when it was just the two of us, and now, we’re four, and wow there’s really no stopping time from moving forward.
As someone who’s moved from one place to another far too many times in the past decade, I’ve come to terms with the fact that houses are temporary, and “home” is that which you bring with you wherever in the world you go. Home can be a place, and it can also be a person, or a group of people, or a collection of memories. But home is not confined to a place, I guess that’s why a new house or a new city or a new country doesn’t instantly make you feel “at home”.
That’s kind of what’s going through my mind every time we go back to the roof top. It doesn’t feel like home anymore. The vines have grown unkempt, some of the plants have dried up, the walls are dirty, the windows are dusty. And yet, in the midst of the strangeness of what used to be a familiar place, I hear Dawn & Rain scream and laugh and run around while their Daddy chase them, and suddenly, there it is. My home, right there with me.
Today as I post this, Ivy is on her one-way flight to New York to join her husband there for good. And maybe I’ll rant a handful about that in a separate post, but in a nutshell, her departure is making me think about how temporary most things are in this life. Babies grow, children get older, people leave and move and start a new life elsewhere.
I once wrote about saying goodbye, and the realization remains true:
Change involves pain, and pain forces us to grow. It causes us to see situations with eternal eyes, and teaches us the art of letting God do His thing. It helps us loosen our grip off tangible things—people, places, routines; and causes us to embrace the more important things, the ones that last forever—friendships, memories, lessons learned, love that transcends space and time.
I’ve struggled about moving my whole life, mostly because I’ve become a little too attached to places, to people, or to the memories associated with them. I hate saying good bye. I don’t like packing. Moving scares me and I wondered many times why I kept doing it.
But something about my best friend leaving, and now having David, Dawn and Rain in my life, that gives me this new-found courage, this quiet assurance. The assurance that wherever in the world the Lord takes us, whether we stay or move, whether friends leave or we leave.. we’ll be okay. As long as we’re together, home is wherever we go.