we are here

so on tuesday we moved.

and now we're here.

what does that mean exactly? just like moving was a long process over the last year, there are certain 'moments' in arriving that have to be noticed - you know, a deliberate noticing of the particular roots going down and feeding from the ground they've been placed in.

for example i felt quite clear that we needed the house to be 'unboxed' fairly quickly - that some sense of normality would help us all to feel settled. and so the boxes are pretty much emptied (apart from the ones that will stay boxed for the next two years...)

on thursday we took the kids to the maizemaze and met some other ridley students and spouses, even invited one of the 'new' spouses home for lunch - this was a particular 'root' for me, i love opening up our house to people, even if we're the 'new ones'.

yesterday i cycled into cambridge and navigated my way to college, just to test the route. i began to get a sense of the nooks and crannies of cambridge city centre (even if it was by cycling through places that i don't think i'm meant to cycle through - eek)

and today - we went to church. i have to admit feeling slightly nervous, this place will be our worshipping community, our church family, our friends, our leaders, for the next 2 years. it's important. this is a major root for me and for us as a family. i guess my main community will be the ridley one, but i also want to have real relationships with our community in milton and at church. it's a long time since i've had to start from the beginning in a place - i mean i've made many new friends over the years, i love meeting people and hearing their stories, but there is no one here who knows me from of old, who knows what i'm like, how i tick, there is no one here who can say 'that's what she's like', or, when i've screwed up, 'that's not like her, she must be having an off day'. yet.

i want to root down quickly, which will mean being a little bit vulnerable, discerning quickly what people are like, and what to say in which context. i have discovered that i already come with a label - 'ridley student' - and this will have it's pros and it's cons, but it's who i am, so i'll have to get used to it, and what that means to others, even when i'm not sure what it means to me yet.

i guess this is what it means to be present in an active sense. you have to really choose to be yourself in a place, choose to be in the place where you are. you particularly have to choose this when the place that you are is not known to you yet. if the relationships that you have with the people and the community that you find yourself in - and this probably includes the projected relationships that you have with places or institutions too - form you, then a recalibration must take place when you remove yourself from one place to another.

who you are in one place, is, necessarily, not who you are in another place. people react to you differently, and as your relationships form you, you are, essentially, a different person. of course all your relationships over space and time are still holding you, still forming you, so it might not seem as if you are that much different from yesterday. but still - we are changed by our encounters.

so...we're here.

now the question is...who are we?


Mark H said...

you'll still be you, you'll just grow! and some bits of your personality will strengthen, and some bits might fade into the background a bit. but moving and being here in cambridge and at ridley has been a good experience for me, at least, and i really hope and pray it will be for you, too!

jody said...

oh absolutely - it's an exciting time, and i have no doubt that it'll be a fab time.

i think the point for me is that it is better for it to be an 'intentional' (overused word, i know) change/growth. where you choose to be formed by the new place/people, rather than it being a passive experience.

perhaps 'choose' is not the right word, as we are formed by our relationships whether we like it or not - maybe it's more about recognising the necessity of change or growth, and the places or points in your life when that is most happening, and having some kind of awareness about it, then there is an element of choice about HOW something affects you, even if the choice is not about IF it affects you.

anyway, thanks - and i'll definitely appreciate the prayers :)

David said...

All good wishes for the new chapter beginning, Jody. I am certain that it will be a great place to study, train, think and 'be'.