Lottie, in the play Enchanted April, talks about the befores and the afters; she says that sometimes there is a waiting period, a bit of a blank space between the before and the after. I think I am in the waiting space that blank period right now. I am in a holding pattern between my life here in California, the before as it has been for a huge chunk of my life and the after that has not started yet in Ohio.
Last night the demon of doubt slunk into my thoughts and spread his poison around. He whispered at first, “do you realize what you are leaving?” as he showed the video of all things here I love so much. Then his voice rose to a crescendo as he chanted and screamed the list of unknowns; where you gonna live, what if you run out of money, how about DaBoys they might not be able to adjust to living in the snow, what about Edwin, what about your grandkids, you won’t even have a car!!.His big finish was “you gotta be completely nuts to think you can drive across the United States!!. That last one was as loud as thunder when you are standing right underneath it, how it is felt deep in your bones and your insides. I was laid out flat in bed, crushed under the fear and accusations he spewed out at me.
It was God’s voice that overrode that demon’s voice last night. Softly at first, gently, calmly he placed in my thoughts his own words about this after I am heading into. He reminded me of all the huge list of things he has moved me forward with: the selling of the house, the place to stay between that and the driving off into the sunrise, the selling of the car, the taking care of the dogs and their exceptional behavior, the shake down road trip, the dental for Pepper and for me, the everyday small things he has smoothed over. Sleep came as the list was recounted, sleep and peace and calm.
I had to admit to myself and to God that this is a bit scary. Moving across country is hard enough in itself. Every time I think of something I need it seems to be in Ohio. And the things I have with me here seem to be reproducing when I turn my back on them. I seem to not have what I need and have what I wish I had shipped! The final task here in the O.C. will be to clean, glean and remove things that do not need to be in the SUV with Jan, DaBoys and me as we motor across this great country.
But the after, that is the scariest. The after in Ohio is quite the big unknown right now. Will I find the right place for me and DaBoys? Will I make it through that first big snow fall without having a black hole of depression swallow me up? What will my life be like? Will I fit in? Will I stick out like a sore thumb like I did when I came from Florida to California as a 10 year old girl? Will my California ways be so foreign to Ohio that I will be rejected? Only God knows the answers to those questions.
So, I will do as Fr. Groeschel said, and put my hand to plow and not look back. Well, not too often right now will I look back. My energies must needs to be applied to the future, the after I am going to. There will be lots of time in the snowed-in days to look back, sigh, and remember the before.