The Village Post Office Sign
The Creative Life

Village Life: Getting the Mail and Finding Home

At the close of the year I want to share a bit about our life here in the village. A lot of people have asked me how things are going here in Nova Scotia, so my plan is to share these stories about once a month. It’s relevant because this place has become an important piece of my creative journey. Continue reading “Village Life: Getting the Mail and Finding Home”

The space between good bye and hello
The Creative Life

Between Good Bye and Hello

We’re somewhere between good bye and hello as I write this.

Just two weeks to moving day. Almost everything is packed in boxes, waiting for the movers to come and load the truck. Basically all that’s left is what we need to feed ourselves and make us fit for polite company.

Reducing our lives to the essentials feels like unraveling a favorite sweater that no longer fits and winding it back into a ball of yarn. We’re sorry to see it go but it also creates opportunity.  A new pattern waits to be created stitch by stitch.

I’m pretty certain I’m going to love it but it’s still only in my imagination. I can’t touch it or even point to progress being made. I can’t wait to get back into my studio. I’m yearning for regular creative time again but there are things still to be done around here as well as papers to sign and people to notify of this change. I must be a responsible adult before my creative inner kid can play again. (Although I will admit to taking recess almost every day.)

My good friend Joan described it as a spinning sphere. Before it can change direction it must slow down until it arrives at a moment of complete stillness. I feel my life approaching that point.

I tell my clients this is the most uncomfortable place to be

Navigating that place between good bye and hello can be scary and exciting at the same time. If you’ve been there, you know it can be a fine edge to balance on. It’s not easy to stay away from thoughts like “Did we choose wisely? Can I really do this? What if saying good bye to familiar faces and places is too painful?”

Questions I can’t answer yet.

The antidote for me all through this process has been NOT to look at what I’m leaving behind but to look forward to the new pattern that waits.

By choosing to consciously turn those questions around they sound more like “What if this is the smartest choice we’ve ever made? What if it all flows together easily? Who do I need to be in order to make new friends in a new place?”

After all, success is just as likely as failure. In fact, I can honestly say life has taught me the odds favour success. So why do we always assume the worst?

Like Schrodinger’s cat, everything is possible right now. Here’s what I know:

We get to choose our focus.

When you’re at the end of one journey but not quite embarked on the next, it’s good to remind yourself that it’s up to you which direction to face. Looking ahead at what you have to gain keeps you moving forward. I know it’s kept me from second guessing. I’ve been able to stay curious about what’s coming next and curiosity is a powerful antidote for fear.

But what about my good memories? Do I leave them behind? Is there a place for them in my adventure?

Good memories keep us grounded when everything else is in motion.

My VioletsWhen we arranged this move, the estimator told us to leave all the pictures on the walls. They would protect and pack them the day of the move. At the time I simply saw it as one less thing to do but now, as our home disappears piece by piece into plain brown boxes, I’m grateful for a totally different reason that surprised me.

My art is memory.

In my bedroom is a painting I did a few years back of the violets in my shade garden. It’s one of my favourites. It’s also one of the first things I see in the morning when I open my eyes.

While others may see them as weeds, I love violets for the splash of purple they bring after the monochrome colours of winter. Often I lay in bed for a few minutes, enjoying the memory of sunlight in spring, shifting shadows under the cedars and the scent of violets in the air.

We are essentially caretakers now but those pictures tell me this is still home and familiar ground. Good bye won’t be easy so when we arrive in our new home, those violets will be on my bedroom wall that first morning.

Hello again.

Lighthouse in our new hometown
The Creative Life

Nova Scotia Adventure

The countdown has officially begun. Adventure calls.

This is it. Our Nova Scotia adventure feels ‘really real’ as we prepare to move across the country, away from everything that’s familiar to us.

Somehow I’ve been going along, thinking that our move to Nova Scotia would just be a ‘blip’ in our lives. It seems I was operating under the mistaken assumption that when we finished unpacking at the other end I would simply pick up and carry on as before. Continue reading “Nova Scotia Adventure”