I know some of you are feeling abandoned, and for this I apologize. But moving is neither pretty nor particularly interesting. It’s much closer to mourning, in fact, for those undertaking it. Over the course of the past 5 months, I have weeded through the sum total of my possessions, twice. Assessing, analyzing, weighing the merits of each physical fragment of my existence. And with each object – whatever it is – deciding whether it will have a place in my new life. Much of the accumulation has been easy to part with, because it never meant much to me. But the most difficult parting has been with the place itself.
We left Philly on March 21st; my older daughter’s ninth birthday. We said goodbye to our home and everything we’d ever known, the comfort and support of community, and the love of family and friends. We moved to Portland looking for a better life, seeking a place where our children could grow without fear. It has been both easy and hard. The first month was exhilarating, but it was also the loneliest I’ve ever known. Now – 5 months later, I find myself moving with dexterity through once unfamiliar streets, the longing that gripped me months ago blurred to an often distant haze. But sometimes, it just can’t be helped.
Last month we sold our house in Philadelphia. It’s been a very mixed bag of emotions for us all, but especially for me. I get really attached to places. Almost as much as if they were people. I recall times as a child, when we would travel, feeling an almost palpable sense of sadness after leaving not just loved ones – but locations. I still feel that same acute sorrow when we leave our dear friends cabin in Vermont. So you can imagine how difficult it was for me, having to say goodbye forever to our first home. We went back to Philly over the 4th of July weekend, to pack up everything we’d left behind; all the bits that were too big or too trivial to make the initial trek north. We spent the days hauling ASS. And the nights I spent sobbing. While fireworks flashed in the distance, my husband and I toasted our last Independence Day the way we had the previous 7. On the roof of our home. Now a lovely couple are hanging their clothes in what used to be our closets, and showering in what used to be our bathroom, perhaps even cleaning the mildew off the tile I never wanted to clean. And I wish them all the best. But now that they’re on the mortgage, it is time to move on – literally.
In three days, we move into our new house. OUR NEW HOME!!!! And I cannot even begin to tell you all about it. How elated we all are!! To have found something so lovely, so unique, so historic, to call home – is truly beyond description. This new home, this piece of – America. Finally, to plant our roots in the soil, to nourish, to grow and thrive in our new environment, perhaps even to seed…. TO BE HOME. Those three words bring tears to my eyes. So long awaited, so tenderly missed. I love Portland. I love Maine. As much as any place I have ever known. The beauty, the salty kiss of the ocean, the feeling I get in my heart each time I gaze around.. the feeling of finally being Home.