The other day I was helping someone brainstorm super powers for a project. I was easily able to think of the super powers of my loved ones--my husband's knack for finding kindred spirits, the way my friend Kim can make beautiful flowers spring from the ground, how my friend Jennifer is so good at building community--but I was having trouble thinking of my own. Not the super power I would choose, mind you, but the one I already have. Like, if I were a Twilight-style vampire, which of my already-there gifts would be enhanced?
I was up late unpacking boxes when it finally came to me--my super power is a huge sense of place. Being able to feel the emotions and memories that emanate from houses and gardens and small, precious things.
Like, the first time we walked into the dining room at our old house, and my spine tingled with all goodness that I could tell had happened there and all the goodness that I sensed to come. The love and the food and the conversations and the prayers.
The deep sense of hard work and the smell of earth and sweat that hit me when I walk into a well-tended garden.
Or the echos that come to mind when I hold my grandmother's gold teething necklace. Her on the farm as a baby. Her fears as her baby sister died. Her joy when she was married. Sitting on her bed next to me as a child, holding out the necklace, and telling me "one day this will be yours".
While this sounds like a beautiful super power--and most of the time it is--this week it has also been downright painful.
As I keep telling Sweet Husband, I'm not doubting our choice to move for a second. I love our new house. I'm enjoying making it ours, and I know that I'm already a better mother here, without every single loose toy boring into my brain because there's no room to escape.
We were so happy at our old house.
It was our tiny, sweet love nest.
Home to two good dogs and one bad one who I loved all the more for it. Six messy ducks and about three dozen chickens, including our darling Tori buried in the backyard.
We hacked the garden out of the wilderness. (That seems over dramatic, but if you'd seen it when we moved in....)
My son spent his first night there, propped in a basket between parents too in awe to sleep. My daughter was born there, in two good pushes three feet from the wall in the front bedroom. Their placentas were both buried under the rosebushes.
It's the first place I grew beets, the last place I hugged my mother-in-law, and the dining room has the most amazing afternoon light no mater what season it is.
Standing in the middle of it all this week, as we did the final work of moving and cleaning, it kept all swirling around me. Parties and Christmases and everything between. Memories so happy that they hurt.
Until tonight, when I told Sweet Husband that I wasn't going back again. I just didn't want to feel it all anymore. He agreed to do the remaining few days of chicken chores by himself. I walked through my garden and my kitchen one last time. Collected eggs and gave the chickens a smile. And then we left a note--wishing the new owners happiness and luck--and locked the door.
Our sweet little house will be happy without us. And I know we'll make a new sense of place at our new house--one that will be deeper and more profound, even, because odds are that we'll be here much longer. But just because it's the right thing--just because it's going to be wonderful eventually--doesn't make it easy right now. And right now, I'm really going to miss her.