Trusting the Process

We’re at a difficult point, now, with the move. Everything is in motion, nothing is at rest, and the logistics are starting to weigh on us. This must be done before that. That cannot be started before this. When will we have time to do the other thing?

A brief update.

This was all more-or-less hypothetical before two weeks ago. Yes, we’d engaged the activities of a lot of people on our behalf, including the imaginations and well-wishing of our old friends in Fort Collins, and potential new friends in Ukiah, and it would have been downright rude to say, “Nah, just kidding.” We’d have had to cancel our contract with our realtor, which would have been a little worse than rude. But we could have easily backed out of the whole thing.

Two weeks ago on Friday, the house went on the market and entered the Fort Collins multi-list. On Saturday, the realtor held an Open House, and over 100 people showed up to look at the place. Sunday was Easter, but we had two informal indications of interest on Monday, and two written offers by Tuesday morning. So if we ignore Friday (late listing) and Sunday (Easter), the house was actually on the market for two days.

We signed a contract to sell on that Wednesday, and now it’s real. Really real. On May 15, 2015, we lose the right to live in this house, and while it isn’t done until the ink is dry, it’s done: inspection was waived, appraiser has come and gone, and now it’s just the paperwork grinding forward. Movers are hired and scheduled. We’ve sold stuff we don’t want. A buyer is delivering a check for the piano tonight, and will arrange to move it before we go. I’ve pulled books off my shelves for donation. We’ve worked out how to move the money around for the necessary expenses.

The only thing missing is our destination.

That isn’t exactly true. We’re working on the destination, and will hopefully have the logistics worked out sometime next week. The place looks perfect for us, is within budget — it’s a rental — and the owners, who are currently living there, have reviewed our rental application and are thrilled with the idea of us renting from them. There is willingness on both ends. It’s a matter of formalizing it, and the logistics.

But the T’s are not crossed, and the I’s are not dotted, and we are this weekend engaged in that terrifying void that is usually called a “leap of faith.”

It isn’t the kind of leap of faith made by an eighteen-year-old who hitch-hikes to New York or Los Angeles to become a star, much less the leap made by immigrants who walk across multiple national borders hoping for asylum in a far-away country named only in local legends. We’ve studied, estimated, visited, and conferred. We aren’t immune to bad judgment, but we aren’t entirely naive. We have contingency plans.

But as of this moment, with our house vanishing from under us on May 15, we do not yet have a new address. It’s a little scary.

Which brings me back to this idea of a “leap of faith.” What does that really mean?

I’ve gradually come to the understanding that the word “faith” is — like most words employed for political purposes — almost useless as a word. As Iñigo Montoya said in the film, The Princess Bride, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” It’s been employed to invoke God or the gods, to signal political affiliation, to declare support for absurdities. I think that faith is a much simpler thing.

Faith means a perspective that declares the world to be fundamentally either livable, or unlivable. One can believe in a “good world,” where the air is breathable and the water and food wholesome, where people will help you in your time of need, and where the sun and the rain and the earth are generally sufficient; where life is, despite hardships, worth living. One can equally believe in a “bad world,” where the air chokes and the water and food are laced with poisons, where people will turn their backs on you or try to cheat you, and where the sun and water and earth are toxic; where life is, despite its momentary pleasures, not worth living.

Any faith beyond that simple assertion of a “good world” or a “bad world” is politics.

Despite my occasional pessimism, especially when writing, my faith rests in a good world. When I read the opening creation tale in Genesis of the Christian Bible, I see that God looked on all he had made, and it was good. When I look at evolution in the larger sense, I see congruent adaptation, life-forms that match their environment, not life-forms that struggle against their environment. Even in my callow youth, I never believed in the “conquest of nature” for human purposes. We are not inherently at war with our environment.

We belong here, on Earth. It was made for us. Or we, for it. Or both, for each other.

In our case, there is a wholesome sense of rightness to this venture, this adventure, which has been there from the first moment we contemplated it. We could debate where this sense comes from, but given the smoothness with which everything else in this process has moved, I like to see a kind of destiny involved: a congruency, if you will, like a parrot flying north due to global warming and finding just the right habitat. A sense of flowing with a river that is bigger than our arbitrary day-to-day decisions.

So even though we hang in a momentary weekend void where we know we are leaving, but do not know (exactly) where we are going, I find that my faith leans toward believing that it will all work itself out, as it should, as it must, as it will.

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