Bruce and Julia are moving to Canada. Rose sold her home in Seattle of 53 years and now lives with her daughter and her husband, their dog and a cat on a farm in “the far north”. Anna left her job to pick up two new jobs in order to provide space and energy to do a reasonable job of picking up her primary third job of taking care of her parents!
All of them, migrating from what had been their “life” to a new life. This year our congregation reflected on the journeys of preparing to leave home, leave-taking, the in—between, and the journey “home” – to where we begin again.
Bruce reflected on the long process of becoming a Canadian citizen – endless forms, interviews and questions – and now the process of applying for Family Sponsorship for Julia which as he noted “sounds so much better than ‘chain migration’ – for us it represents the completion of a journey not some sinister act.”
Anna reflects that the changes in her life have not been easy – It took five job interviews in eight months and being turned down for all of the positions before she found a job that fits. “And no, it is not easy to balance being a daughter and a caregiver. Taking care of my parents is hard – we have gotten upset, we have fought – and we have good times as well. There is joy in it as well,”
It’s a “strange country” where Rose lives now. She gathers eggs from the chickens each morning, looks out her kitchen window across the fields to the mountain range beyond.
“There is a woods across the road from us and we hear the Cooper’s Hawk calling each evening. The Barn Owls are flying in and out of the barns when dusk arrives – no doubt feeding their young. If it’s still light enough, we can see them as they silently fly back and forth.”
Gene reflected that internally or externally all of us are making these journeys of migration all the time. Besides the passages of life and stages of aging and the changes they bring, “There are the intra-migrations of learning, knowledge and wisdom, knowing self, social maturation, and the growth of spiritual consciousness, envisioning God’s Will and finding ‘the Way’. There are also larger more universal, inter-migrations, including understanding one’s place within our historical family, tribe, culture and nation, comprehending Humankind’s role in the vast cosmos of God’s creation, and entering into the consciousness of being at-oneness with God that is beyond Self.”
Bruce and Julia reflected that every emotion has been present with their journey of migration with the exception of one – regret. Instead, I hear from them that they have given themselves to life, to movement – to the unknown – to what is next.
I think on this turning to a new season – on my own and yours – where are we going? How do we understand and discern “call”? What enables us to say yes to go? What makes us say no? And what is the faith that we need to step forth as Rose said “leaving my home of 53 years, three daughters, her church, her wonderful neighbors and friends and stepping forth into a new life and adventure”?
“As I turned 65 and as we put together our “life plan” migration seemed to make sense,” Bruce reflected. Is something “making sense” to you that you need to do?
Joel was on a routine drive home from work when he was side swiped by a car. His car rolled and flipped and when the medics arrived at first they couldn’t find his pulse and assumed he had died. Instead, Joel survived and was knitted back together over a long period of time and carries a story that has defined his life. I don’t know how Joel was before his accident but today he is a man that exudes that “life is not done with me yet”. Every day he seeks to live life to the fullest and reminds the people in this life to do the same.
Rose reflects, “I simply know that wherever I am, God is. No worries.” If we believed that – what difference might it make? What choices might you make today?
I hear Bruce and Julia, Rose, Anna, Gene and Joel beckoning us all into the journey that is life – to risk taking a step forward into fullness and risk, joy and wonder, today.