The end of July saw us leave our long time home and trek, like compass inept pilgrims, first west to the BC coast and the island to spend time with family before the big haul east. We relished our time in sunshine and with loved ones and, the day after Leo's second birthday, left for our trek east. We took the scenic route down through Salt Lake and across through Nauvoo which meant we were able to see a number of historic sights significant to our faith, as well as connecting with old friends we would never have otherwise seen. Two parents. Two vehicles. Two drivers. Three kids piled into a five passenger vehicle because the van was temporarily converted to a cargo vehicle. It was an adventure and we loved most of it ;)
The end of August to mid December saw us settle into our new temporary life, and we completely fell in love with Sudbury. It had beautiful nature at our back door, wonderful people who came out of the woodwork, and an endearing sense of community. The semester was more or less exactly what I would have expected with six classes. It was intense and often insane and the library and I became best friends as I fell in love with the science and learning of midwifery. Jim proved an incredible partner who held the fort far better than I ever did, and after an intense week of six finals exams in seven days we made it through the semester and home to Alberta for Christmas. The lottery of clinical placements allotted me a summer placement, but given that our housing situation was only valid until mid December we opted to move in January to the greater Toronto area where my placement will be and where we hope to be able to stay for longevity's sake.
And as I sit here, writing and reflecting on where we have arrived one year after my last birthday it feels...so different. During our time on the road and again at Christmas the only word that accurately described my feelings was "un-tethered", purely because all of the tangible grounding influences in my life were temporarily gone. Posessions were in boxes, anything we were using was borrowed from family, we had left our friends and community, and there was nothing to touch to bring me back to a sense of center. It was temporary, but uncomfortable. And now as I write from my new kitchen in my lovely rental where I am once again surrounded by the comfort of my own things, the tether feels reinstated but the center is yet to be found. The city feels overwhelmingly large, the reason for being here not yet active (as I'm "off" until April), and we are largely unknown quantities in this new community. We will find our space and we will make our community and this experience of "newness" is par for the course. But the nostalgia for the community we left is always there. We are in flux. We won't always be, but it's giving us a fun chance to flex our juggling muscles.
Our life in this moment is so different than it was a year ago. Jim now holds the fort like a pro, and the kids when they crawl into our bed at night snuggle up to him. The nostalgia for the home and life we knew still hits all of us, but I feel so blessed for this new family culture we are getting to forge together as we rely more heavily on each other. The boys have managed the transitions like champions and my nightly prayer is that this new normal will continue to work and flow for us, and that if it doesn't that we might have the courage to readjust. So far, so good, and I am so grateful. Halfway through last semester a dear friend shared the quote "honour the space between no longer and not yet". It hit alllll of the feels. Because we won't ever be quite what we were a year ago, and we have not yet reached the summit of this mountain. But when we do? I swear I can already see the wind blowing up tufts of hair on my men's heads and feel it in my own. And that feels like a good centring point for now.
If you are in the GTA we'd love to see familiar faces and have room!
A snowy halloween
A date out to see Come From Away
Snuggles with the snuggliest dude
The aquarium and visit with cousin
View of the CN tower
Walk along Lake Ontario