Sunday, October 16, 2011


It seems that the period of 40 days holds significance across the world for various reasons. I can think of points of 40 day significance in the bible, the most well-known being Noah and the great flood that lasted 40 days (here's my Catholic upbringing coming back to me!).  And in some places and to some people, the 40 days postpartum period is of particularly relevance as a time of cleansing, healing and connecting. It was something we applied in our household as  best we could upon the birth of both children. No doubt there are many other 40 day observances and rituals of which I'm ignorant. We're about to enter a particularly significant 40 day period  (or thereabouts) and to help sustain me throughout I've decided to apply a little ritual of my own. I'm not sure what I'll title it but the central themes will certainly be 'change', 'rememberance', 'gratitude' and 'celebration'. 

I tend to become quite melancholy when it comes to change (some varieties in any case). I find it difficult to believe when I consider how much change, adventure, and general renewal we've chosen to embark upon over the years but, it's clear that I do experience a period of readjustment, not unlike many I suspect. This little 40 day ritual of mine is partly a way to bring some relief to this period of change (by having fun with this crazy time of packing and administrative tasks that will come our way) and partly about celebrating where we are right now and all the experiences and friendships that have enriched our time here.  Here where we've lived for four and a half years, here to where we brought our daughter home (a baby we longed and waited for, a baby we couldn't quite believe had decided to come!), here to where we brought our son home (the baby who was intent on coming to the world and to parents who remained disbelieving or at least surprised - and contentedly so), here where we've greeted family and friends new and old, here where we've been together taking it all in.

In some ways this is a small move for us, no jet plans, no immigration paperwork to complete, just a small move across town. But we know, particularly at this stage of our lives where small children are involved and all our world is within a small, local radius, that our visits back here will be infrequent. Our new home and wider surroundings are likely to absorb much of our days, making it all the more important to celebrate the here and now.

For the next 40 or so days, amid the chaos, we'll be particularly focused on the task of "taking it all in" in the way that you do when an end is near. A chapter is closing and another wonderful adventure is on its way.


  1. Oh no! Now I have a number and I'm going to feel compelled to count to. I had planned to just progress in affected obliviousness pretending i had no idea when you were going so I wouldn't have to feel the impending doom.... Now that's melancholy! Your post on the otherhand was just contemplative. Be cautious cause you know we are going to try and wriggle our way into as many of your moments of celebration, gratitude, remembrance and change as possible as we definitely feel we need some kind of process to help us cope with your move too.

  2. You're too kind Em. But, didn't you know, you're coming with us!
    And I do need to clarify.. I'm going to be focusing on the next 40 days but only 32 of them will be from here, we'll already be in the new place for the last 8! ohhhhhhhhhh