So this time last year, I was sweltering through a Sydney summer, recovering from the usual busy December weeks at church, was just getting going with Thermomix, and was heading off to cheesecake club at the Beilharzes’.
I had no idea that within a year I would have said goodbye to my Sydney friends and church, sold our little Blakehurst house, and be living in a big blue house in the middle of a 2000 square metre block of land in Tasmania. Or that I’d have chickens, and regular nightly visits from a merry band of marsupials.
But here we are!
The stretchy elastic nature of time always trips me up, with it going faster and slower in unpredictable ways. Days can drag along without anything much to distinguish them as you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Then you pause, look back and see the mountains that you’ve scaled and come down from, or the valleys you have traversed.
Moving to Tassie was at once a high peak to scale and a bit of a stumble into a thicket. This is a place of immense beauty and charm, where every morning the weather brings something different (atmospheric fog, anyone?), and where we are living in the most ridiculously lovely house. Of course it’s not without its faults, but honestly, it feels like we can breathe now. Living in our little house in Blakehurst (even with the studio!) felt like we were holding our breath, hunkered down against the onslaught of the busy world outside.
We’ve only been here 14 weeks, and yet on a day-to-day level it seems like we’ve been here for years. When I start to feel lonely, or frustrated, or confused and wonder why I’m feeling so disconnected, I have to keep reminding myself it’s only been just over three months! This bit is the thicket I mentioned; the part where strong relationships aren’t there yet, where church is still new and we don’t quite fit yet, where I miss the ease of knowing and being known that I had amongst my friends in Sydney, where I haven’t even quite found my favourite places to hang out in yet.
This thicket wasn’t unexpected; change is hard and uprooting is even harder, and feeling like this won’t be forever. Already my new little roots are starting to stretch out. We got a house with large common spaces for the very purpose of being hospitable, so we now host our Bible study group, we’ve had one of the neighbours over for dinner, and we even invited all the surrounding houses over for Christmas drinks (and 10 people came!!!). I volunteered to help with the music at the fledgling 5pm service at church – probably a bit sooner than I’d intended to, but since the reason we moved here was because we felt God was calling us to help, then it seemed silly to move and then not help when it was needed. I also played piano on Christmas Day (thinking it would be with a band but it was just me, a violin and two singers). I got some work at Rub Remedial Massage Clinic (without even trying to!) and so have met some other lovely non-church people and feel really good putting my massage skills to work. I helped out with some graphic design for church, and I got some work doing design for next year’s Launceston Alive Easter Festival.
And all that’s just been in the last three months!
So this coming year, I’m looking forward to this unsettled feeling fading away, to feeling more a part of where I live, to making friends. I’m hoping to understand more about how my mind works and how to find fulfilment in what I’m doing (it would be nice if that fulfilment also brought a bit of financial stability, but I’d rather be happy than wealthy!). I’m looking forward to planning and planting a vegetable garden and seeing what I can grow, to taming back a bit of the wild fringes of my garden and just enjoying being outside in nature and learning more about how it works. I’m hoping to grow in godliness and faithfulness, and to spend as much time thinking and sinking into the word as I do all the trivial things that seem to occupy my time. I’m looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me this year.