And now for the blog post.
In most transition times, or times of big news, there is a communication ripple. First people close to you hear, then others and then wider groups you are part of. Then there is the wider catch all that previously might have been the Christmas Card list (if you were into such things) and now appears to be your facebook contact list, or email contact list or however you collate the info of people you love and care about but don’t see on a daily or weekly basis and therefore haven’t heard your big news. Those people you’d love to be in direct communication with but life has a habit of getting in the way.
Cue a revisit to the chat me and the husbandface had when we were just housemates on the day my first nephew was born. We drove to church together and he questioned why my brother hadn’t sent a blanket text out as soon as his child was born. I explained the etiquette of news sharing, personal is best for whoever you can, family are first in these situations etc etc. He then said randomly, ‘so if we got married you’d be the one to know this stuff’. 9 months later we did happen to get married and yes I do know this stuff.
It should be said though, pandemic life is a bit of a curve ball and we haven’t been able to have this chat in person with as many people as we would have liked, so if you are hearing this in this fairly impersonal way and would have liked the actual conversation/personal direct communication, I am sorry.
Ok, onto the news.
We are about to move to Northern Ireland for a year or so.
There’s a sentence I would never have thought we’d be saying. We sat down a while ago, drank a bottle of wine, watched the final episode of Mare of Easttown and, as I watched small town messy family life sharing pain and joy together, I turned to the aforementioned husbandface and said I think we might need to go and live near your sister for a bit and share our messy life with her, hang out, pour out some love and maybe be able to give her capacity in her running of her brilliant archery business, looking after her son and caring for her and husbandface’s Daddy. We laughed and then couldn’t get the idea of our of head. We played with it. We realised we couldn’t answer any of the questions or concerns until we’d actually gone. The idea didn’t go away. I looked around at our abundant life and wondered what it would be like to go from that place of abundance rather than cling to it. We felt the urge to love and be loved in the same place as family. We talked about it with the boys and they were up for the plan. We held the idea close until the summer and then as we drove home from our amazing holiday over there made the decision to buy a house.
We plan on renting our Brighton base, we’ve bought a house in the lovely village of Dundrum (subject to all the legal stuff going through ok) about a 6 minute drive from our family. We’ll then hopefully be able to rent it out as a holiday home when we come back and have a base to stay in when we go over there. All things being well we will be out of our house by the end of October. It’s all starting to feel a little bit real now. That’s really only 6 weeks away. I quit my job last week and will finish on the 31st October.
We’re planning on throwing all of life up in the air when we get there and finding new rhythms and routines to feed our souls. We’ll be unschooling the boys, I’ll have a couple of days to write and finish my spiritual direction course and the husbandface will carry on his remote working around that. We’ll hang out with family, have our boys doted on, help out with the business and generally share more of our lives together. We’ll be living near the Mourne Mountains (insanely pretty) and on the doorstep of a beautiful nature reserve. I think we’ll be ok for amazing walks and beautiful scenery to fill our souls.
I am excited, scared, intrigued, hopeful, delighted, in awe, overwhelmed and more. I plan on watching the West Wing through the autumn as I have done in lots of major transition times (literally I watched about 10 episodes in labour with Son1 and the whole thing during those long breastfeeding nights with both the boys). I plan on leaning into the God who doesn’t change and who lives over in Northern Ireland and has good stuff for us to be involved with and people to love and be loved by. I plan on writing and breathing and delighting in my course. I plan on helping my boys, I plan on learning what it is to live in a different culture and land.
So, there you go. That’s our news. Come visit. It’s a wonderful place. I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures of the beach near our village to make you jealous of where we’ll be living, a poem from Ted Loder which sums it all up so well and Red from Shawshank whose excitement at a new adventure I echo right now.
I Tremble on the Edge of a Maybe
O God of beginnings, as your Spirit moved over the face of the deep on the first day of creation, move with me now in my time of beginnings,
when the air is rain-washed, the bloom is on the bush, and the world seems fresh and full of possibilities, and I feel ready and full.
I tremble on the edge of a maybe, a first time, a new thing, a tentative start, and the wonder of it lays its finger on my lips.
In silence, Lord, I share now my eagerness and my uneasiness about this something different I would be or do;
and I listen for your leading to help me separate the light from the darkness in the change I seek to shape and which is shaping me. (Ted Loder)