I just read lots of blog feeds – catching up as I have not been online much since August. It has been an intense time for me.
London and finishing my MLIS was very exhausting. I did not yet know if I would have a job or when I would have a job; I just knew I desperately wanted to return to Ottawa and begin building a life. God was gracious and let me have a lot of august to pack. I was extremely exhausted and slept a lot, and still did not feel better. Packing was difficult—the apartment overwhelmed me with the chaos of boxes, and all my things; a church friend had tea with me, one who is close to my heart and loves Elizabeth Goudge, and she spoke of God’s peace in the centre of the storm… this was the thread that kept me afloat…. I remember being alone a lot, in that apartment, with my cat, trying to pack up my belongings. I had never packed them up before and not known when I would unpack them again. Wrong or right, I had long thought of my belongings as making my home, and as I long for home, packing things up without knowing when I would have my own little place again was difficult. I remember singing songs to God, feeling like I was slowly drowning, or standing on an island singing, knowing that the water was slowly encroaching the land, slowly covering it all, sinking…
God held on to me and on the morning of August 31 I packed my icons and my uncle came and took all of my things and I went exhausted to a dear friend’s house. I felt out to Ottawa 2 days later with my cat and began a month long journey of living with a special family from my Ottawa church. By then I knew I had an interview after the long labour day weekend and had studied MLIS literature for it on my last full day in London. By the following Wednesday I had word that I had the job. This was a busy time – once I knew I had the job, I went shopping. Replenished my work wardrobe and replaced clothes that were literally falling apart. I bought things for my future apartment. I had one week to find an apartment and thankfully God gave me a great one.
I moved in Sunday October 1st, with the invaluable support and help of the family I was living with and also of beloved church mouse and cathedral dweller. I was already working full time and began taking French classes. I was so exhausted that I would fall asleep upon arriving to my apartment… God kept holding on and I was able to slowly unpack my Ottawa belongings (I admit to owning a lot of things and many more were coming later on). The turning point was when, after a long time, a month and a week, I finally had an Icon corner again. I am making my small little sitting room a little prayer room and most of my icons are going to be in this room.
Then I had a crazy week, just last week. I struggled with insomnia, wrote a test to see if I get screened in for a first interview for a permanent job (my contract ends January 26), and had my family come with all my belongings. Various wonderful people from my church helped me move (and commented that I sure had a lot of belongings!). After this my family decided to drive all night back to London.
This weekend was one of the best of my whole year. I was with my parents, sister, aunts and an uncle. I graduated, had dinner with many of those I was closest too in my London church, and got to be in my aunt and uncle’s old yellow brick roomy wood-filled house. I flew back, tired of course (who would not be if they got in on Saturday at 5 am) to Ottawa, grabbed a taxi and was home in time to walk to vespers. (My rule for going to church is that if I am able to walk, I go to church, so I went to church).
This past week I was still quite tired from the busy last weekend. Work is very demanding and my weeknights were full of unpacking (especially my dishes; I am in a long line of dish-loving women, my Great-Grandmother, Grandmother, Mother, and many Aunts, both sides of the family). Today will be full as well. I hope to go to IKEA and then take a taxi back. Then another friend from church is planning on coming to help me put together the shelf unit (portable pantry for my kitchen) and then I will walk to church, for vespers.
I have been re-reading Gift from the Sea and PD James’ time to be in earnest: a fragment of autobiography. I have been rejoicing that (so far) my apartment and surrounding area has been quiet. It has been over a year now since I stopped listening to most music. This has really helped stabilize me in a past year and a half where I moved 3 times, gained a spiritual father, temporarily lost my Grandfather who feel asleep in the Lord, met many new people, completed my MLIS, did an 8-month co-op and started my first real job. The songs of church often are the songs I hear inside, within me and I think often of my English Professor at TWU who also loves silence….
God is still holding on to me; in the end this is what I hope in:
“For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing”