Magic of the Everyday, Moving, Personal Life

Thoughts on a Gray November’s Day

Yesterday was a stunning day here, with partly sunny skies and temps climbing into the low seventies. Hubby and I took a bike ride in the nearby National Park, along an old canal towpath trail, now graveled and graded. It was lovely, with far fewer people than in the summer. Not much by way of wildlife,  but it was good to use the lungs for a change, to feel a little burn.

Today, however, November has reasserted its authority over the weather, with steadily falling temperatures, probably a hard frost tonight, and rain falling in thin sheets. From my viewpoint (a window high above the river valley), those sheets blow like veils, coating everything in wet misery. They make me glad to be inside, to have the warmth of my dry sweater wrapped around me, and a sizable stack of books to read (thank you, WFC!).

2012 is wrapping up; it’s been a difficult year, and the saying goes that bad things come in threes (but also, third time’s a charm–go figure!). This makes item number three: hubby lost a job, but has already found a new job, and that new job will entail a move. Said new job is located in New Jersey, close to where Post-Tropical Storm Sandy made landfall.

Can you see this makes me nervous? Both in terms of finding housing, and in terms of ‘what about the next hurricane?’ I’ve never lived through a hurricane, see. Not a real one, at least. (Neither Sandy nor Ike hitting Ohio qualify, in my mind. It’s Ohio.) And I can’t say it’s a goal of mine, either. But one moves where the work is, and he’s the primary breadwinner here, so off we go.

It will be strange, moving to New Jersey. I’ll have an accent, even though my speaking won’t have changed, and it’s still my native tongue. I’ll be marked an outsider once again. But then again, aren’t writers always a bit of an outsider? Isn’t that part of what makes us writers, that feeling that we don’t belong? I know for me, it allows me to look at things differently from how most other people around me see them. It gives me a distance to analyze, to weigh and categorize events. It lets me wonder “What if she were a he,” or “What would happen if C happened instead of B?

I don’t mean to sound as if this whole ‘move thing’ is bad–it’s not. Just unexpected. And less than timely; I only moved here 8 months ago, remember, so I’ve barely gotten adjusted to being here, not there. I’ve moved enough to know it takes 18 months to 2 years for me to truly feel ‘at home’ in a new place. By then, things begin to repeat: the seasonal rounds are soothing, not jarring. I look forward to them instead of being surprised by them.

In this case, the plus is that I haven’t gotten too attached to living here, so it won’t be such a jolt leaving. And I can learn to live in and love another place, memorize a new landscape, settle in to new weather patterns (without hurricanes, I hope!) without mourning so much for ‘things lost.’

What news things will I find? I’m looking forward to those discoveries, both the exciting ones and the mundane. How will this affect my writing, my attitudes, my life? I can’t wait to see. These are truly the magical bits of everyday life.

If I’m a bit slow blogging in the coming months, I hope you’ll understand, and be there when things eventually settle out into that state we call “normalcy” (even though it seems less than common to me of late), and I return to something like ‘a schedule.’ Until then, keep writing. Need a writing assignment? Notice those little things in life. Let them haunt you, and seep into your pores and fill you up until the words float upwards, around those things, and the waters of your work are tainted with those emotions. Feel the joy of the written word. Let it be enough.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on a Gray November’s Day”

  1. Oh Mary, it’s been a tough year, hasn’t it? I wish I had some good leads for you in the area. I’ve been to the Pine Barrens once and loved it. Cape May has killer birding. Not that I know whether those are anywhere near where you’re headed.

    No matter what, I hope this is the magic three for you, and things from this point on head in a positive direction. I’ll be thinking of you. And if you ever head up to Massachusetts, I’m happy to show you around. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the cheer. It does seem to have been “one of those years.” I think I’m just happy to be moving onward and upward at this point…but give me a few weeks to let my mind stop spinning before I decide 🙂

      We’ve got a good friend who grew up in this area of NJ, so it’s not *entirely* mysterious. I’m looking forward to learning more about the “devils” that live in the Pine Barrens, seeing how these old myths will infiltrate my subconscious and color my perceptions. And hurricanes aside, living near the ocean–a real *ocean!*–will be amazing. Maybe my mind will gravitate towards the sea, with merfolk and seaweeds and silty, salty dreams…. Good things will come from this, I’m sure.

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