“Far better it is to dare mighty things and to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, for they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt
A few weeks ago, my husband asked me why I hadn’t written anything on my blog, and I gave him my exasperated reply, “I have writers’ block!” He literally laughed out loud at that, and so did I. It is hilarious to think that I consider myself a real writer, but here it is; I cannot write unless this burning within me takes control and urges me on. I never know what will bring it on, but I can only imagine it might be what drives a painter or a sculptor to create something beautiful and breathtaking. At least that is my hope and desire. I do not write because I have a need to expel my verbal diarrhea. I write because I want to share something that might cause pause in my readers’ day. Creativity in any given form, whether it is music, art or written, adds life to our world; we cannot let it die. We must nurture it so that we might breathe, and not simply exist.
These thoughts were swirling through my mind as I finished my morning swim, and I was walking back to our house. I noticed today, for the first time, that through the busyness of our summer, the cat tails in our pond had matured, the sumacs along the tree line had begun to turn red, and some of the leaves on the choke cherry tree in our front yard had begun to turn orange. Fall in all its glory is arriving, and with that, we will be leaving this wonderful state that fits us like a comfortable old shoe, and venture out into parts unknown. We have sold our house and bought a new one; in a couple of short weeks, I will be swimming in a new pool in a much warmer climate.
With the knowledge that our time here is coming to a close comes much excitement for our future, and some bittersweet feelings about leaving our children behind. I have felt some sadness and anger in waves from each of them, and I know that is warranted, and yet it causes my heart to churn. I have kept my children close over the years; the apron strings have not been loose, so it will be hard to let go.
I left home when I was much younger, and I remember leaving on one long cross country trip in particular, with my brother and sister; something like that would have been unheard of when my children were in their teenage years.
During the summer before I entered tenth grade, my parents thought it might be a good idea to let me take a road trip to Kelowna, British Columbia, with my brother and sister, who were twins, and four years older than I was. We lived in the small town of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and had made the trip out west by car many times during summer vacation to visit our Uncle Eddy and his family, but this was to be our first time alone. To this day, I cannot fathom how my father and mother were brave enough to allow three teenagers to travel cross country alone; but they did, and we were fine. We had a glorious time. We loved our Uncle Eddy. He was a mechanic by trade, and an entrepreneur by spirit; that is, when we went to visit him that year he no longer had his mechanic’s garage, but was running a urethane foam insulation business from his shop in Kelowna. While we were visiting him, he spray-insulated my dad’s Dodge van for him. (I remember spending the trip back to Ontario picking off the bits of bubbly foam insulation while I was lying in the back of my dad’s van)
That summer, we spent a lot of time in my uncle’s office while he worked. He had many inspirational quotes typewritten on pieces of paper and thumb tacked to his office wall. This is where I discovered, for the first time, the above quote by Theodore Roosevelt, and I was so profoundly moved by it, that I memorized it for a tenth grade English assignment. Since then, I have “owned” this quote and it has inspired me on many different occasions.
As our time in Minnesota quickly comes to an end and we find ourselves jumping through endless hoops of paperwork to get everything in order for our move, I suppose it is only natural for some doubt to set in, and we, my husband and I , find ourselves wondering just exactly what it is we are doing and why we are doing it. So many of our friends and colleagues have never moved from one job to another, never mind one city to another. They are firmly rooted in one place, close to their friends and family, and are very comfortable with their surroundings. As we prepare for the changes that are coming, we are a little excited, and quite frankly, a little bit intimidated at what awaits us. We have moved multiple times over the years, but somehow, this latest move has me rattled. I find myself feeling a little bit jealous of my friends and acquaintances who have never moved and who are firmly rooted in their surroundings.
It is in these brief moments of uncertainty that I remember this quote by Roosevelt, and I remember that not everyone is hard-wired the same way. The restlessness that is a part of us has challenged us to move forward and make these changes in our life, and it is too late to turn back now. We will go forward, unafraid, and lean on the One who has breathed this change into our lives.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”-Romans15:13