That song by Tom Petty, "Time to Move On" keeps running around my brain. We are moving this week, from a house we love to one we hope we love even more. I can't wait to get there--I feel like I'm finally going home, at the ripe old age of 42.
It's interesting when you tell people you're going to move. We didn't tell anyone in our neighborhood that we were looking for a house. People kind of write you off as soon as you tell them that. They don't mean to, but subconsciously they do it anyway. Eventually, though, we figured we'd better say something before the moving truck showed up, so we told the neighbors. Reactions ranged from sadness to snarkiness to just no response at all. Some neighbors that we've known for 8 years haven't said a word to
us since we told them about our move. During the interim, we've chosen to focus on the people who are sad to see us go and try not to judge the ones who aren't. I mean really, we were fabulous neighbors--truly we were. Who wouldn't be crying and laying down in front of the moving truck to stop us from going? But I digress.
What's really interesting about people's responses is that you learn things about them you never knew. They suddenly start confessing to you their own secret desire to move, a desire they can't confess to their other friends in the neighborhood because--you guessed it--they'd be written off. I've learned how many of my neighbors wish they were doing just what we're doing--moving from the suburbs to the country so that our kids can climb a tree or dig a hole in the yard without HOA interference. Where we can have a garden bigger than a postage stamp, a big dog that won't bother anyone, and chickens (the real reason is the chickens--gotta have me some chickens).
Our move is the expression of a heart's desire, driven by the need to give our children a small-town upbringing and a sense of place, of community. We want to put down roots, deep ones. We want to plant trees and watch them grow tall, as we watch our children do the same. When we talk about this as we are now free to do, our neighbors nod and smile. They understand this heart's desire, for many of them have it too. Some of them wonder because of our decision if they've made the right choice about where to live. Maybe our decision to follow our hearts will help them to do the same. I hope so.