Friday, July 22, 2011

settling in

Every time I have moved, I have been the same. The whirlwind of activity, the emptying of boxes, the establishing of a new home. I have seen others move & seemingly camp out in their new houses for months, and something in me screams out - how can you bear to do this? I cannot. Within two days or so all is sorted.

Kind of. Don't ask me to find everything. That will take longer.

Mind you, Matt & I are already finding our way around the neighbourhood. It turns out my trusty SatNav is a bit, well, selective on local roads. So I do need to buy a map, as well as checking out Googlemaps before setting out. There tend to be better alternatives than my onboard computer wants me to believe! Goodness, it's been a while since I've actually remembered directions...

Take the nearest cinema, the Leeds/Bradford Odeon. As the crow flies it's about a mile and a half, two miles. SatNav wants to take me a five mile journey to get there when there is actually a crow-fly road. And I am finding that several Leeds trips are pretty similar - and not helped by the re-numbering of roads in central Leeds following recent bypass arrangements. In weeks these will be absolutely second nature.

In weeks the house will feel like home too. It still feels like a place where all my stuff finds itself. Finds itself squashed... No - I am genuinely glad of the smaller space. Genuinely glad of the cosiness of the house. Time will make this home - time and the visits of friends and the accumulation of memories. You cannot fake "home". It sneaks up on you.

And, as yet, though I am settling in, I am still in the post-leaving/just-arriving fog of emotions that means I don't quite know where I am or what I feel.

It's good that I have lovely neighbours - on one side they will look after Matt when I'm at work, seeing he gets out during the day and isn't alone all that time. That side also keeps the gardens straight and checks on bins and is wonderfully efficient. On the other side, a couple I have yet to get to know but they are Christians and one of them works in the University.

People. Place. Time. Feel. History. Memory. So many things make up "home". And here am I in a rented house - for here I have no abiding city. I have the outwards sorted, but the inners, the interiors of life - these things cannot be put in their place in two days, no matter how hard I try. And so I am slightly displaced. Neither there nor yet here. But here I am in a place where I have been led. With good people all around. And I am looking forwards to going to church on Sunday in the local parish church, which, by all accounts, may well be a good place for me. So this is a strange, settling in period; and I am grateful that after the whirlwind of the last few days I now have another week before I start work, work which I am looking forwards to. I need to take this time to relax and sit back and prepare, and properly take advantage of a little holiday for body and soul.

For, to misquote the hymn, God has brought me safe thus far, and he shall lead me home.

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