Monday, September 5, 2011


The Leaving

It is finally moving day and August has gifted us with a gloriously cool morning. The Fates and fortune that took us to Ohio twenty-seven years ago are now taking us back home, to Indiana.

The last fifteen of those twenty-seven years have been lived here, in this house. Built among an acre of spruce and pines, it was once our dream home, but now our dreams have changed. Now our hearts tell us we need to return to our hometown and the comforting circle of family and friends there.

Soon the last box will be stowed and this day will pass but for now the memories run deep and they roll through my mind in ceaseless vignettes. The days, the seasons, the years slipping past in the quick/slow tempo of recollection, the day is bittersweet.

The crew of movers is a friendly noisy group, experienced in handing not only the furniture but anxious homeowners as well. They chat as they move through the house assessing, wrapping and stacking our possessions.

The benches that Jay refinished when we first moved to Ohio are cocooned in layers of blankets, upended and carted off. Rocky, the jokester of the moving crew, points out that the big dresser I have had since I was twenty should never be moved because of its weight. It is the same comment we hear every time it is moved and that makes me smile. The elaborately scrolled wooden secretary, handed down from Jay’s mother is admired as they discuss the best way to protect its glass front. The bright yellow, numbered stickers placed on every box, crate and piece of furniture is that item’s ticket to board the truck to Indiana.

Retreating from the rush I find a seat on the screened in porch and John, the lead mover, seems to understand that I am having a difficult day and tells me he will leave the table and chair on the porch until the last. Knowing that I need my little spot of refuge until they have finished. How nice it is to sit here, where I have sat so many times before, reading, writing, and watching the birds.

More quickly than I can imagine each stickered box, each piece of furniture finds its way into the cavernous maw of the truck. All of our possessions fitting together inside like a giant 3-D jigsaw puzzle. Every trip they make in and out of the house depletes the rooms until we are left standing in the large empty space that was our family room. Making sure nothing remains, we gather even these last memories and walk out the door.

At the closing, excitement is bursting from the young couple buying our house but we are stuck in this moment of transition, not in either place. We still have the three and a half hour drive to Indy to make tonight, so we get in the cars to head west. It is a familiar trip, one taken many times over the years, yet this one feels different. As I drive, I think about the bonds that tie us to the place we are leaving and those we are traveling toward. Life changes and we are changing with it. We look forward to being home.

As our cars pull into my sister’s driveway, family surrounds us and I know that this moving day is finally over, this first step in the journey of returning. There will be other difficult parts I know, but perhaps this was the hardest, the leaving.

Diana for Poplar Grove Muse


  1. Diana, This is so achingly poignant. I love that you focused on the leaving, the actual physicality of it. Step by step in and out of the past, yet leaving us with a sense of moving forward as difficult as this can be in life. Thanks for sharing this life-changing moment with us.

  2. Beautiful piece. I have moved so many times, and it raises so many familiar, complex feelings. Thanks for this. MKP

  3. Well said you.....I feel you and the emotions of this move. I know energetically and emotionally this is one of the hardest moves you have ever made, perhaps the hardest. It is haunting looking at the picture of the living room and all the memories held in the walls. It was a tough decision for me not to return to this home before you left. But seeing the picture I know it was the appropriate choice for me. I know this move was a struggle for you and Jay but I know in my heart this is the right choice. I am bursting, nervous and excited to see what is ahead for all of us. We are all trying to get our sea legs and what it means to be in such close proximity again. But the one thing I know is we will move as a unit and not as separate parts. Welcome home.

    Your Rambling Caffeinated Acupuncturist,

  4. Back home again in Indiana. Thanks Diana!