The black polished countertop is imperfect.  Streaks of grease and debris lay on its top and I resist the urge to wipe it down knowing that I am only going to get it dirty again as a I set yet another cardboard box on top to fill with dishes.  Moving and packing has filled me with such dread and anticipation.  It feels good to purge of rotten food, stale pasta and couscous that our family will never eat.  But I am shamed to see the failed discipline of house keeping.  Of setting routines that will stick.  Home.  I never felt it here.  My brain could not seem to grasp the emotion of completion.  A tree transplanted into a pot too small and given very little water.  I had stopped flowering and the leaves were few.  But my family was there.  My very core was deep inside waiting.

What effect does the environment have on our mental health?

I have wandered through the dessert of uncertainty before.  Waiting to buy our chicken farm.  I waited and prayed and was on my knees looking down the driveway lined with evergreen trees and lilacs.  We lived north of town, but our desired chicken farm was south.  Armed with three kids and chicken quota, we moved onto sandy soil with old boiler barns and into a cave like home.  A place where I gave birth to my fourth child and my soul shrivelled and memories are silent, still, and safe.   Years later music rescued me.  Chopin.  Wes Froese.  MYC.  The hands and feet of my Lord.

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When we opened the door for the first time some two years ago, my husband hid his dismay at the size of the home I had picked.  I had flown out to Vernon and only had 3 days to see all the houses for sale and choose one of them to bring the family to.  The house tried.  It really did.  The closets opened wide for crafts, and drum sets and sewing machines.  The pantry held the Costco packages despite being designed for Safeway cartons.

Thank you little house for trying.  I appreciated your effort.  Now I must move on home.  Home.  My word of the year.  I have been searching.  I pray that in this pot I will bloom and grow and put down roots for stability and maybe even have my own chicken coup.

But definitely smaller this time.

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