January 9, 2013

On Packing

Right now, there are three boxes stacked in the corner of our living room: packed, taped, and labelled.  Another rests half-full in the kitchen, packing materials and contents spilling over the sides. Three more lay hungry in the bedroom, waiting to be filled. And, here I sit.  Smack-dab in the middle of it all.  Stuck here partially due to physical exhaustion, partially due to being downright overwhelmed, but mostly because I've misplaced the packing tape. Again.

Such a weird migration this is.  From wall to box.  Dresser to bin.  Cabinet to crate.  These three years past, placed in boxes.  My heart doesn't quite know how to feel.

I know.  I see you there.  You, ticking off the months to come on your fingers... Yes, we still have much time before we leave.  Nearly 4 months, in fact.  And yet, here I sit with box upon box.  Strange as it may be, I suppose I find myself prematurely packing because I am a planner.  I like having all my loose ends tied up, everything just so.  Perhaps I pack because it gives me a sense of control, a fake, fleeting, selfish, and sinful pseudo-sense of control. Maybe, I am packing now to lighten my load for later, when life will no doubt be even more insane.

But, perhaps that which looms largest in my heart urging me to pack is the fact that I'm not quite sure how I'm going to say goodbye. How I will leave this place we two first called home as one.  How we will leave this church family who have loved us with open arms and open doors.  How we will leave these friends who have become more like family...  It's as though this gradual stripping of walls and emptying of drawers will ease the pain of that last day.  Much like a bandage, (and contrary to the common analogy) when pulled ever so slowly, one might almost forget the pain of its removal.  In much the same way, perhaps this gradual packing is readying my heart for the ripping.

I know I've said this before, and there is no doubt that further words and tears will be spilled over this place; but I sit here in the midst of transition with a heart torn.  This heart quickens wildly at the thought of the adventures that lay ahead.  Every vase wrapped is a step closer to that new horizon. While simultaneously, there is an ache that throbs at the thought of closing this chapter.  My heart is all here and all there and not at all emotional.  (ha!)

There is much to do before the door closes, however. Much to do, much to say (or not), and many to love.  I am thankful for this readying period, this time of preparation; but no amount of time is going to make this any easier.

Now... to find that packing tape....


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