Friday, August 12, 2005

six years ago today, or how things came around in a circle

Six years ago I sat in the very room I am sitting in now, working the same job, but it was all about to change. I was due with my second child, and my husband had just accepted a job offer in another state, which meant once the baby was born I would never be here again. I would be leaving my job, which I had come to like; selling our house, the one we had had built for us in a rural subdivision, the only house I'd known in my married life; moving 600 miles away to a place where I had no friends or family; and being a stay at home mom to two young children.

Six years ago I wanted to sell our land. If we were moving that far away, I could not bear the thought of having a piece of land, a place I loved, but not being able to visit it as often as I wanted. It turns out I was wrong, and keeping the land is what saved us. We had talked of living here, but that seemed like such a remote possibility, one I was not sure I could make the transition to at the time.

Six years ago was my last day here at the office. I went home as usual, made dinner, went for a walk, and read bedtime stories to my two year old son. As I was rocking him, I felt the familiar tightening, the beginning of contractions. It seemed like forever before he was finally weary enough to fall asleep in his bed. I took a warm bath, but it did not comfort me; the contractions kept coming, faster and more intense. I told my husband what was going on, but not to worry yet, I was going to bed for a while, it would probably be hours before anything happened.

Then my water broke. Hours collapsed into seconds as I went into transitional labor on the way to the hospital. I don't know how I walked in, all the way to OB on the second floor. By the time we got into a room I was ready to lie on my side, nauseous and irritable. I asked for Nubain, but by the time the nurse brought it in, it was too late; I was pushing. My doctor arrived just as the baby was crowning; moments later I heard a little cry and "You have a daughter!" Nina was born at 1:30 AM, Friday the 13th, 1999, after under four hours of labor. She's always been impatient and determined.

We moved, but somehow what we were moving to seemed to elude us. We moved again; the job, the location, the finances, never seemed quite right. Three years went by in a haze as we chased what we wanted, what we had a vague idea of but didn't know how to get there. Coming back to the land was always like coming home; it was becoming the center of my universe.

Then we landed here, when Nina was three and had a one year old brother. It was as crazy and unplanned as anything that ever happened. We lived day to day, not knowing how we would get by, but somehow life was starting to feel right. Six months later, my old job opened up; I walked in the door just like I always had, and it was as if nothing had changed, nothing except me. Somewhere on that wild crazy journey, I learned what I wanted out of life.

You could say we ended up here, right back where we started, because our other plans didn't work out. I believe, however, that there was one plan all along, one we gradually came to know. The treasure we sought was not necessarily the treasure we would find.

Happy birthday, Wild Neen.


Dan Trabue said...


pablo said...

This is why I come to this site every single day!

lené said...

Wow, Deb. That's amazing. Life is so interesting. While I didn't have the same sense of "coming back" as you did, I have a similar story of starting somewhere and ending back up there, or at least close by.

I spent a couple of years in a town outside of San Antonio through part of my undergrad work. While I don't talk much about politics on my blog, Texas was just not home in the sense of community.

When I went to Santa Cruz, CA for a conference about pesticides, I fell in love with everything about it, went home, sold my stuff, and moved two weeks later. As I drove away in the Ryder truck, I knew I'd never move back to the Lone Star State.

After I got to California, I met and married. We moved to Colorado, and then, amazingly, back to Texas. We ended up buying the house next door to the one I rented while in college, and by that time, my old landlord had moved in the place I lived before. There's nothing like moving to CA, CO, and then back to the house next door. :)

Well, anyway, I always enjoy coming over to your blog, Deb. Congratulations on finding "home." So many of us never do.

Floridacracker said...

We bought our place when we were hundreds of miles away without a clue as to how we would get here. We just knew this would be it someday. A baby, a career change, and within two years we were here to stay. Now I can't imagine living anywhere else.
Beautiful essay by the way and happy birthday to your daughter.
Take care.

madcapmum said...

Happy Birthday to both of you!

I love to read about people finding their own patch of land and sinking roots. North America would be a more "grounded" society if folks would decide to enter into relationship with the land and recognize the back-and-forth cycle of tending and provision. Hats off to you and your lovely family.

the dharma bum said...

wow, great story deb! just beautiful. happy birthday to your little one, and congratulations on coming to what is important in life.

it's good to know that if you can recognize those things that are important, you can also achieve them. i think katie and i have an idea of what we want, but of course are a little afraid that we won't ever get there... which is why i love your blog so much. it gives me hope.

all the best.

Deb said...

Thanks everyone! It makes me feel good knowing that someone out there is reading and appreciating my writing. I wish it could always come as easily as this essay did...

lene--good to hear from you! It sounds like you've had an interesting journey through life. Actually, part of the period of moving around that I just skimmed over in this essay, we bought a house right across the street from my parents, where I grew up! But that's another story.