Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hooray for Half a Year!

Our travelling girl. For the first few months of her life, Isabelle would cry and scream bloody murder each time we put her in her car seat. She hated it, and it made even the shortest of trips unbearable. We simply avoided going anywhere with her as much as we could, and we waited, hoping this would pass. "Little girl, you're an Epp. You're gonna have to figure this one out," was a constant murmur in our home.

And figure it out she did. Enough to make two 7-hour flights to Canada and now a meandering road trip to Cornwall. She's downright pleasant, playing with her toys, telling us babbling stories, and then drifting off to sleep, thumb in mouth.

So we've decided she can stay.


Taking a break along our road-tripping route in Port Hope

It has been a wonderful month of gloriously long, warm Canadian days. And now, as I sit on a second-floor porch thirty minutes Northeast of Cornwall, sipping some tea and pecking out these thoughts, I'm finally really relaxing and sinking in. All I can see on either side of me is trees and fields. The sky is overcast, big, heavy clouds, and there are hens cackling nearby, and cows.... COWS.... in the field next door.


And our girl is growing, growing! No longer content to sleep through the night, she feeds every four to five hours. This should bother me, but I'm taken in by her sweet snuggles, the way she pulls my hair and smiles into my eyes. We are spoiling each other with love. It's been a month of rolling, playing, chewing.... on my shoulder, my arm, my chin. Her contentedness has been deepening, and she is happy just to know we are near. A lap to sit on, shoulder to suck on, big sister to laugh with.

Just a few more weeks and we'll be returning to our other life, the one filled with sun, heat and sand. Beige upon beige. Beach trips and ventures to dunes. But for now, all of us will keep relishing the greens and blues and the vast, quiet space. Just a little longer. And for today, we will celebrate six months of baby-bliss with her first taste of watermelon. Happy half-year, Isabelle!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Parent's Barn

I shuffle into the darkness, the familiar dusty smells, with blazing sunlight, clear blue skies and the smell of fresh cut grass lingering behind me. Slowly I work my way over to the pile. All our life's possessions folded neatly into labeled boxes and bins. I peel open some of the closest and smile wistfully at the contents. A white blanket that once graced our bed, a carefully wrapped bowl, some random checkered pot holders. Items I felt must be kept. I glance to the left and stare at the rug that once lay on our beautifully refinished living room floor, now left rolled in a heap, collecting dust and God knows what else.

A life put on hold.

And then, amongst the piles I see remnants of dreams I fiercely held, never letting go. A booster seat. Padding from a high chair. A dismantled crib. I remember the hoarse whispers... "I'm sorry. I am willing to let go of many things. But this, these things, I will not let go. No matter how impractical or improbable. I will not let go." And so, they were stored.

And I smile.

No, no. This life has not been put on hold. This life is being lived.

Can I live and live fully, each moment, whether it be here or there? Can I awaken myself to all the beauty that abounds, to the richness and wonder, and yes, to the heartache too, not wishing away a second, a moment of time? Be it difficult and mind-bending, can I fully call this place home while still embracing and loving the other that is home too? Can I give grace to the relationships that struggle with the distance and love all those who may not always know how best to love and understand me?

This is my journey. For this life is not on hold. Though pieces of me may lie here, in my parent's barn, a life once lived, that past is weaving and weaving itself beautifully into my present and even my future. I hold on and also let go, waiting to see what may be, and thankfully bowing my head for each remembered blessing.