I'll bet you've noticed during certain moments of clarity that life can have an unexpected, unforeseen symmetry sometimes. Things line up just so; the end of something fits its beginning; what you experienced in one context you experience exactly again later, as if bookends.
In five days, Tricia and I will move out of our 3rd floor apartment at 70 Main Street never to reside there again. But we will still keep our offices and the imagineART Gallery at 70 Main Street on the 2nd floor. When we came to Northampton we began in an office on Armory Street owned by the same landlord who owns the 70 Main Street building, but we lived in Sunderland for the first year. Now, we will live in Shutesbury but remain at our office in Northampton.
It's as if God sees it as more vital we work in Northampton than live in Northampton. Our work is not finished here (sometimes it feels it's barely commenced).
Truth be told, we loved living in Sunderland. Living on Main Street in Noho also has had it's benefits, for sure: close proximity to interesting stores and restaurants, having the freedom to walk rather than drive everywhere, getting to know people who live and work in town, and being able to experience some of the life that comes from living in such a vibrant place.
Reality is we've lived half of our married life at a retreat center on the lovely grounds of a church before we headed north to plant imagine/Northampton. The grounds maintained a pastoral feel and pace, at least for us residing toward the back of the property. So going to live on the grounds of Pinebrook Christian Camp will offer a similar pastoral feel. We'll be in the country for sure! Yeah, there'll be 35 minute drive to the office; we'll have to manage our schedules, pack a lunch, stay late for meetings and gallery duty...wait a minute, that sounds like what normal working folks do every day. Hmmm. We've rejoined the "great madding crowd!" We'll negotiate the change.
There'll be adjustments, I know -- some pleasant, some not so. We'll get used to a different rhythm and pace. There'll also be some lovely blessings like Fall in the woods, not being awakened at 3AM by someone saturated with alcohol and "good times" had, not listening to ambulance, firetruck or police car sirens blasting 3-5 times per day (I know they are necessary), and being able to walk in the woods for exercise and communion with God.
Just living in a house again will be refreshing and welcomed. While we've enjoyed our Main Street-in-the-center-of town apartment, and prayed we'd live on Main Street before we came to Noho, we are ready to leave it for someone else to enjoy. We won't own the house, but it will give us a sense of sanctuary and peace because of where it is and because it will be our home for a time. We get to leave the hustle and bustle of our small city for a setting which will bring a needed measure of balance and internal quietness. We might even normalize a bit. Well, that maybe going too far, but we'll find another rhythm to offset our Northampton rhythm.
I think we both look forward to that.
Also, multiple thank you's to Kevin and Janet Williams for offering the possibility in the first place, and the Pinebrook Camp Board for supporting it! And thanks for folks who got the place spruced up after substantial water damage last winter, especially Janet, and Kevin's dad, Dick Williams. I also heard a rumor some unnamed folks chipped in to help as well. Wow! Lastly, we want to thank beforehand the people who'll help us move boxes tomorrow. We are wonderfully graced by your generosity to us!
Five busy days more and the next chapter of our Kingdom journey will begin to be written!