In an unprecedented act of promptness, Dave and I moved yesterday, one day ahead of schedule. A window of reprieve from the monsoon and a rapid response of a few willing helpers got us in motion, and when things picked up steam, Dave stopped me in the bedroom and said, "I think we need to try to do it all tonight". What followed was fast and furious packing of any remains in cupboards and closets, with toothbrushes and blankets and dirty towels shoved in every available space. Thanks to a couple friends, a couple dads (and moms!), and a trusty Grandpa, it was all moved by midnight except a few odds and ends.
This is the first time in history he and I have ever been an entire day early. It's worth a diary notation at least, maybe even a plaque.
No matter the amount of time and preparation, moving is such an uprooting. I've moved small, unstable plants and I've dug around roots to move older, stable ones, all vibrant and green. I don't have any great experience or research, but it seems like the post-transplant wilt is more distinct the more vivacious the root system is. I feel like it's true for us as well.
We moved almost 7 years ago, only 2 tumultuous years into our marriage, leaving a rental house with brown dingy carpet and a bad paint job, perched on the edge of a busy highway. Other than a catch in my throat when bidding the sweet old neighbors next door good bye, I walked away and never looked back. The house was neither tasteful nor comfortable, and held what seemed as many bad memories as good. The roots were small, the transplant was easy.
Yesterday I left a house that held stories of even darker days than the first, but a wealth of rich and beautiful ones. I left a wonderful neighborhood. The roots were much more dense and deep. And today there's some wilt showing up.
This wilting is visible in different ways. There is a general wilt of the glazed eyes and melting skin sort, likely having more to do with scant hours of sleep interrupted by every creak and bump, and the game of Survivor Midwest humidity and old farm houses without the newfangled contraptions such as air conditioners seem to have concocted; who will be the last one standing under the humidity suffocation?? (Bonus points challenge, who of the sweating contestants will best cope with having two showers, neither of which currently have usable shower curtains?)
The wilting also shows up in regression of behaviors- certain people assuming a new pad means all household rules are now open to negotiation, and certain bigger people forgetting to use calm words when both sets of car keys are missing.
Unfamiliar sounds and smells and chaos everywhere sets the whole family on edge, even the canines. And some canines with their pacing and moaning and bouts of IBS are more sensitive (and frighteningly similar to their owners) than others.
This afternoon I stood quiet and watched the movement of the pasture. The wind waved the tall grass, swallows dipped and sored, and six butterflies danced in formation, a fluttering kite tail of white over the creek. The robin songs were the happiest loud.
But then I saw the pasture grasses thrashing and loudly stirring and brown heads surfaced over the weeds before ducking down again at the fence nearest the house. I screamed at Ebby to get inside, because while my rationale was telling me it was only stray dogs, my much more persuasive panic was yelling, "Wolverines! They probably have a den under the old tree and are set to consume whatever is disturbing their pack!"
Suddenly all the beauty I'd observed seemed unworth the risks of this place. The wilting just happens, even in the loveliest conditions.
I've spent much time resisting this move, denying it, trying to talk my way out of it, resenting it, most of all fearing it- this uninhibated space feels isolating and so far from my ideals and dreams.
But the thing about a transplant is, the gardner always does it with purpose. More sun, more space, better soil, all lead towards more potential to thrive. Even though at first, regardless of the better light or richer nutrients, the uprooting gives it a temporary set back.
I believe I know good plans for my flowers, so I surely have to believe my Creator knows me and us and our best potential for thriving, and it must include being here.
We're all wilting a little today, feeling uprooted and vulnerable. But I'm looking for the signs: the new color, the fresh spark, the signs of settled roots and thriving life.