Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Night Two Years Ago

Unless otherwise noted, all materials on this blog are (c) 2009 by Madeleine Vedel

Loreena McKennit played on the CD player. The kids were abed, after dinner, bath and stories. The house enwrapped me, with promises of something new, something different. Leaving the dishes drying in the rack from a dinner of chicken with honey and simply steamed beans drizzled with olive oil, I walked the few steps it took to reach the glass paned door to the terrace. Would you like to go outside Filou? I asked my minimally coiffed poodle crossed with bichon. Pushing open the door I walked out onto the wooden boards, some rotting beneath and creaking under my feet. The first day in my new home. My first night as a single parent. The first day of a new life?

The country air smelled grassy and sweet. Above the moon was full and drifted slowly behind and in front of the violet gray clouds as they wafted past. The sky was so large, so present in this rural setting. The majestic cyprus trees marked the end of the garden, sentinels jabbing their sharp helmets into the sky. Though 9pm, it felt both later and earlier. Holding my heavy flea-market sweater tightly closed, hugging my arms around myself, I wandered beyond the garden to the neighbor’s field. Beyond there were stands of trees, but here, it was open space in all directions. Filou bounded about, excited by the night noises so foreign to him. And I just walked slowly and held myself. The calm of the evening jarred with my nervous spirit. I should be so happy and content, but fear and uncertainty kept creeping back.

I’d gotten what I'd wanted... what I’d worked so hard to get over these past few months. And now what? Am I strong enough to make this work? God it was both terrifying and wonderful to at long last be in this house. The months of negotiating with banks to get the mortgage approved. The many stressful and laden discussions with my husband to get him to help me in this move out of his life. Emphasizing that it was for the children.... knowing inside that it was also, and so much more for me. The phone calls from the seller so worried himself about his finances, needing my reassurance, when in my own heart I was terrified and so uncertain. Even visits to the tarot card reader to see if anything in the cards would help see me through to this moment. September, all had been bleak, nothing seemed to work, the words No, and Not Possible seemed to come from each and every source. Then finally, the papers were signed, the money transferred, and the house became mine. Or rather, I had the right to live in it as long as I could manage what was a much heavier mortgage than I’d calculated on, and hoped for.

Today, the first of December, I’d moved a portion of my belongings along with the necessities for the kids to keep them clothed and shod for school. For the moment there was no need to move everything. The many weekends we would return to the home in Arles would permit future loads. I had time to fill out the home and make it more definitively mine. At the moment my arms ached from carrying both boxes and children up the stairs all day. The children were out of sorts. Leo seemed to understand without needing explanations. But Jonas, my baby, had already stated that he didn’t like this house because Daddy wasn’t here. Could I somehow nourish and protect him, warm and love him, so that this feeling wouldn’t keep him from discovering other joys?

So many emotions coursed through me as I walked out into that moon-lit night. Was it an omen to be here, my first night in this new house, on a full moon? Would I be filled with the richness and the potential of a new life? Would I be able to root myself here and adopt this land as my own? As the moon descended over the next few weeks, could I too plant my seeds as I hoped to plant irises and tulips? And would the roots take? Would they be nourished here as they had not been elsewhere? I ached to blossom and be, whatever my potential, whatever my spirit could achieve and reach for. I ached to love and teach and raise my young boys to be wonderful adults. Could I here?

1 comment:

Nathalie said...

Just discovered your blog through a link at Provence Post. Looks like we're almost neighbours. I've added a link to your blog on mine, Avignon in Photos. You may or may not want to do the same, I'll be happy to have you in my list anyway.