Settling in the USA: From Jacarandas to Cherry Blossoms
I can hardly believe its been four months since we said goodbye to South Africa and stepped into out new family adventure in USA! Somebody pinch me please.
The title of my post indicates that I am deliberately skipping the cold winter that greeted us when we arrived in Feb, and going straight for the beautiful Cherry Blossoms that emerged around April. The winter chill reminds me of how hard it was to say goodbye, letting go and the feeling of being stripped. But the Cherry Blossoms….aah…hope!
Its still surreal for all of us…a sci-fi out of body experience. Not the type that leaves you numb but the type that sends your entire system into reboot while all your senses remain vividly alive and heightened as life as you knew it gets unpacked and reengaged in an unfamiliar environment with possibilities and hopes, but also some real fears to be quietened.
When friends ask me “So…have you settled?”. I always stumble at the question, my heart always doing a quick pulse-check, and I find myself wondering what do they really mean?
Perhaps they are asking whether all my boxes are unpacked, my feet are up with a cup of tea in hand, and I am sighing contently at the life that I now call mine?
Or they want to know if all the unfamiliar things that make one feel like a child learning again, like driving on the other side of the road, or settling your tastebuds to a new diet, have been resolved? Maybe, the question is an inquiry as to whether all the practical essentials are done, like finding a place to live, a new church community, a school for the kids, drivers license, social security, etc. Lastly, they may want to know if you have arrived at anything close to the sweet spot of familiarity or driving on auto-pilot.
I would like to think that I am “settling”. And everyday hope and courage and I are becoming good friends, because as hard as it is to say goodbye and as unsettling as it is to release the old, the possibilities, the discoveries and the growth that awaits on the other side of changing seasons, ,makes it all worth it even when it makes no sense at times.