Sometimes, if you're lucky, things go sideways in a good way. It's usually not actually by accident. Maybe something catches your eye, maybe your heart's desire gently urges your foot to step a little differently, a little further than you would normally and you find yourself on a completely different path than you expected. Sometimes you are working hard on something else but all that work primes you to be sensitive and open to just the right kind of change.
And sometimes the yearning has kept you on the edge for so long that you have no other way to go.
And sometimes you plan and imagine and dream and bring up little ideas to your loved ones and then more ideas and then the ideas catch and then you all plan and plan and get brave and plan and work some more until you find yourselves selling your home and flying to Britain to volunteer work on farms for six weeks.
Because that's a thing that happens. It's what we did. And now I'm sitting here back in Toronto, surrounded by boxes and bittersweet feelings as we pack up our house, but filled with excellent memories and fierce hope.
Before it all happened, I was fortunate to come across an excellent article on volunteering on farms with a family, which was one of the sparks for this heart-skittering idea I had about taking the family to WWOOF. WWOOF stands for "Worldwide Opportunites on Organic Farms" and it's this brilliant organisation that facilitates skills exchange and learning about organic farming all over the world. We signed up with WWOOF U.K. because in addition to wanting to experience farming, being bibliophiles we wanted to see the world of Harry Potter, Shakespeare, The Hobbit....and Zinadine put in a request for steam trains. And Mr. S. is a soccer (sorry, football) fanatic, so the U.K. was a good choice for us. Oh, and we are yetis who don't like the heat. So this seemed perfect. Just as Toronto was heating up to tropical-style heat and humidity, we were planning to be off to rain and 15C. Perfect.
Well, perfect and complicated and fraught with big emotions for all, because of the selling of the house, which I'll write about in another post. Suffice to say that things, well, lined up in a way that worked for us. Mr. S's work is opening a satellite office in September in a smaller city closer to where we eventually want to live permanently. It was a good time to sell our house, in market terms (it's never a good time in kid terms). And I found a lovely sabbatical rental in the city we're moving to, owned by wonderful people and timed perfectly to suit us. So our whole house in going into storage for a year while we search for our an acreage or a small farm of our own to put our roots down.
So that's where we're going. Where we've been is a different story, filled with sheep and chickens and green and ocean and pastries and trains and hedgerows and weeding and chopping wood and such interesting people and beautiful places that we can't even begin to believe we were lucky enough to see.
More tomorrow, please stay tuned :-)