"The only thing that remains the same is change!"
My nurse practitioner, Sally, would cackle after she'd spout those too-true and sage words each time I'd visit her during my seemingly never-ending years of perimenopause. I've hit menopause now and, yet again, I'm experiencing significant change in my life. Change can be stressful, of course, whether we deem it positive or not so positive change.
This change--moving into a permanent location, a new condo, which I did Monday this week, is very positive. But, oddly, as I spent September packing, I found myself a bit wistful. Reaching back into the emotional memories of my life for context, I find the move from my second home in the Atlanta burb, Stone Mountain, back to Nashville, one of those similar times. I recall sitting in the drive of the home where my first husband and I gelled in our relationship--which would last nearly another 10 years and see the birth of our only child. It was bittersweet leaving. The tides of our lives had weathered early tulmult and created a finer flow within that sweet lil' cape cod.
Likewise, tumultuous change, carried me crashing into the shores of this lucky find of a lil' Green Hills condo 16 months ago. The low interest rates were too tempting. And like that second home in Stone Mountain, it was here that I began to create a more peaceful ebb and flow in my life, gather up the pieces of a confused and broken heart and create permanent change. Capping off this transition is a move into my new condo, a sweet, small Georgian-style neighborhood I've admired for 20 years.
Never ever did I think I'd miss this place. This refuge to safety--in more ways to one. The place that I rented in a state of shock after owning the last quarter century of my life. A place with some crazy mixed-up neighbors above me who came and went: a dad, an ex-wife, a rebellious college-aged daughter. Insomniacs. All of them. I'll skip the part about four floods from their neglect, the middle-of-the-night parties and more that made my daily life within these wall less than pleasant way too much of the time.The last year-and-a-half nestled in this condo required a lot of emotional band-aids as I stitched my soul back together. But its compact and cozy bones brought me joy. Its location soothed and delighted my soul as I walked my daily errands a mile or more each day from one end to the other of this busy suburban shopping district. (Yes, from a block beyond Castleman all the way up to Starbucks and Kinko's.) Because Nashville is not known for its pedestrian friendly sidewalks, I'd usually take to some back streets, increasing the length and the green-way of my walks. I lost 10 pounds pounding the pavement, Grace almost always at my side. We created anew a larger friendly village of support at the local bank, Whole Foods Market, the mall--where we mostly cut-through--and the chi-chi shops of Hill Center--Lululemon and The Cosmetic Market being our faves.
Summer here was hot and our walks wilted into nonexistence. But most of August, surprisingly, brought relief. After a heat flare early Septemeber, we began sitting on the old green porch glider early mornings, waiting for the bus, and after school when the bus delivered Grace back home. There I studied a bit sadly the garden that served me peace. And as I walked one of my last afternoon errands, a September breeze bathing me, I mourned a bit the months of walking lost because of the heat. I'm back closer to one of Nashville's beautiful, enormous forested parks--a parcel of it my backyard. But, I won't be walking my errands in my new suburban location. This burb was never made for that sweet savor.
It was the warmth of my condo, as captured above, rich with cherished family possessions and the spirit of nature, and as embodied in my garden--also shown--and in my daily errand-walks underneath a blue and white canopy of cloud and skies, which bouyed my soul through a sea of change. Difficult change. Good change. And bittersweet change. Goodbye, lil' condo. Thank you for the lessons embodied in your walls and for the new stillness you gifted my spirit. I am thrilled to have moved on, but part of me will miss the lovely you offered up to me daily. Glancing back in memory, now, I see and feel the love, grace and beauty I seeded into this place so that I could move on and blossom elsewhere. Thank you.
There is blessing in adversity. Adversity = opportunity.