Love Finds Me

I am here. Here I am. Portland, Oregon, the Pacific Northwest coast of America. Before that it was Corvallis, Oregon, and then again before that Visalia, California, and then a half-breath before that, London, England. Wait… How did I get here again? I feel like half of my stomach is still left in its place at Chiswick, London. The merry-go-round has been whirling so fast my innards have not yet caught up with my outside. That is how I feel, spiritually, emotionally, physically. Like a plant that has been planted, then transplanted, then transplanted again, over and over.

I give my new friends I meet a big disclaimer: I am tired of making new friends. But you seem nice. And I force myself to, to be brave, to keep pressing forwards, to keep an open heart and a gay outlook. In every new place, everything is possible. For the kids’ sake, for Simon’s sake… For my sake.

I have found myself crying for my past houses every time we move. And every time we move, it is like I say goodbye to each of them, all over again. The big white damp house in Chiswick. My very first garden, huge and overgrown. The old but immaculate craftsman-style house in Visalia. The ugly brown house in Corvallis that oddly enough turned out to be my very favourite. Like a bulldog – brown with a snub-nose but comfortable, sturdy and loyal. And our most recent  house here in Portland on Richmond Street that I could never really get on good terms with, with its funny angles and strange proportions.

I loved it though; the kids racing up and down the sidewalks playing carefree; casual yet rich conversations with the neighbors as we mutually tend our growing gardens; the roses along the side of the house wooing away the fact that the garage hung like a backside out into the street. I would stand at the kitchen window, doing dishes, looking out over a patio filled with my flowers, to the sunny grassy patch that was always dotted with children. One rolling down the slope. Two fighting a light-saber duel, disappearing and reappearing from behind the garage. Yet another bending over to examine something in a bush, deep in her imagination. I miss it so, it is still so fresh.

None of these houses were all that special. But we lived in them, and breathed our lives into them, and I feel that they could speak, crammed with our loving and being and hurting and laughing and coming and going. I cannot think of our lives but in terms of where we were when things happened. The house which held the moment becomes for me the frame that holds the memory.

Now we are in our latest house, our very own first house. It still feels strange, as though the previous people haven’t quite left the walls and bathroom mirrors yet. We unpack slowly and everything finds its place. I am overwhelmed with excitement and at the same time a sense of dread. To start over…again.

But, I am confident that love will continue to find me, in this, as in every house we have made pilgrimage through. We are here because we answered a call, following we knew not where… but we knew Who.

Faithful is He who calls you, and He will also bring it to pass – The Bible

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Rediscovering Tchaikovsky

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I love music, I always have. But for some reason in the last couple of years I haven’t really been listening to much of it. Perhaps it is because life gets so busy and noisy at times that when the house is quiet I can’t bear to contaminate the silence. Or perhaps it is because my poor old laptop a) didn’t have a CD drive and b) used to take so long to buffer music from any website that most pieces sounded like Schubert’s “Unfinished Symphony” or as though the conductor ran out of steam every 15 seconds. Anyway, a magical thing happened recently – my mom came out to visit us with the arrival of Baby Judah, and got so frustrated trying to contact folks back home with my old laptop (which incidentally didn’t have a working keyboard either) that they bestowed a new laptop on us as a present before she left. Pretty spectacular, huh?! Well, long story short, I can now listen to as much music as I like.

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So I swan around the kitchen to the sounds of Mendelssohn and Chopin, Tim Hughes, Bach and The Beach Boys…oh, and Tchaikovsky.

I discovered (via my husband, Simon) a website called Grooveshark that lets you listen to music for free online, which is tolerable if you ignore the annoying advertisements that stream across it. And it was in my search for a particular piece of music that I stumbled upon Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto. The famous one.

Somehow I had never put that wonderful theme, which I had heard before, together with Tchaikovsky. I am hopelessly ignorant when it comes to anything beyond the classical basics, or things that I used to play at school or university. So it has been absolutely amazing to discover that so many of the beautiful pieces of music that I like are by Tchaikovsky. And Grooveshark is kind enough to list hundreds and hundreds of his compositions! I feel like a child again, discovering a whole world of something fantastic, something magical.

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I can remember dancing around the lounge as a little girl to some of these tunes, and listening to them again now while I have Evie-pie dancing around my legs brings some of the happiest feelings I’ve known. Rediscovering Tchaikovsky has reminded me of the beauty of surrounding yourself with things that you truly love, the joy of learning, and the magic of discovering whole new worlds of creative experience.

As a special treat, here’s a link to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1.  http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Piano+Concerto+No+1+Tchaikovsky/3sfd04?src=5                I hope you enjoy it!