As you might have noticed, I haven’t been here – or really anywhere around the blogosphere – lately. And there’s good reason for that. In less than a month, strong men with a big truck will pull up in front of this house and load up all of our belongings – thousands of books, the cherry cradle that a neighbor built for my parents when I was born, too many toys – and move them 600 miles to the east.
That’s right: we’re moving. Back to Connecticut, back to my home state and the state that I hope will come to feel like home to my kids and my husband.
The last few weeks have been full of tasks that feel simultaneously mundane and weighty: sorting through outgrown baby clothes, acquiring boxes to pack up our things, dusting the living room – and dusting again – to get the house ready for visits from potential buyers. And the move itself is ripe with the bittersweetness that accompanies any big change. We are thrilled to go, even as part of hearts remain here with the friends we’ve made and the house to which we brought all three of our babies home.
My heart awash in emotion and my head aswirl with details, I find myself comforted by simple things: homemade spaghetti, walks with the kids, and, of course, reading. In addition to recent narrative favorites – Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth and Michael Pollan’s Cooked - I find myself turning to poetry, Robert Frost’s imagery and Mary Oliver’s thematic heft the perfect companions right now. I’ve also gotten lost in a new poetry volume, Rachel Barenblat‘s Waiting to Unfold. Rachel’s collection records her first year of new motherhood. Through her beautiful images, Rachel perfectly captures the anticipation, helplessness, and humor of those early months. Reading her work, it occurs to me that poetry is the perfect medium for describing infancy – that of a child and that of a parent. As Rachel demonstrates so capably through crystalline details that capture the “punctuation mark” of a sleeping child “on the blank page of [his] crib” or his “sly and sideways” glance of defiance, poetry’s precision and concision slice to the core of these unretrievable moments. And although it’s ostensibly a collection about blossoming into motherhood, Waiting to Unfold feels full of metaphors for the journey I am about to take with my family: learning how to walk, as it were, in a new town, into a brave new world.
I’m not sure how much I will be here in the coming weeks. As my days fill with the tasks of decluttering and cleaning and packing, the call to the page feels dulled, as though there’s so much thinking to do that all I can manage is to pack a box and seal it up. But please know my thoughts are with all of you, with gratitude for the community that you have given me that exists beyond state boundary lines.
Happy Mother’s Day, my friends.