In the month we've been here (already a month!) we have been living in basically an empty house. Before we arrived, G rented a few pieces to hold us over--a table and chairs, two sofas, and comfy beds--but really we've been a bare bones operation around here. Also, after the rushrushrush of selling the house, packing up, driving across the country, and booking visits with as many friends and family as we could...suddenly we had empty calendars.
For the first few days, it was novel. We were tired and spent the time filling up on some rest and getting that fuzzy travel feeling out of our heads. But after that we had to go through a kind of busy de-tox. My internal odometer was at odds with our new peaceful pace. It took a while to get it out of my system. I had this vague feeling I should be somewhere and that we should be doing things, filling our days with errands and motion to justify our existence. The kids seemed to feel it, too, and got cranky and flopped around, sighing about being bored.
And then. We came out on the other side. It has felt really good. Different things grow in this kind of space--a different kind of listening and creativity, time to really pay attention, think, and look. A different kind of self discipline. It's a lovely change. I stumbled on this Maira Kalman quote today: "Wonderful things happen when your brain is empty." (Or schedule. Or house. Or life.)
I know our lives will naturally rev up, especially when M&S start school on Monday and we begin to fill up our calendar with good things: lessons and studying and practices and volunteering. We are looking forward to becoming part of the community and connecting with people. But I just want to remember that it's possible now and then to wake up to your internal clock and follow its ticking all day long. I want to remember the time when just four basics (plus our new library cards) kept M&S busy for weeks with various combinations and invented games:
I guess like any other kind of detox/rehab, there's a point when you take what you learned in isolation and bring it into the real world! Here's hoping the peace remains even as the pace cranks up.
Having said all that, we were super excited when this was delivered today:
And there was rejoicing in the land when we heard that our belongings arrived in Sydney this weekend and will be here in another week or two after customs and quarantine.