Lot’s of people are participating in Reverb 10 – 2973 of them when I last checked and that means that a few of them appear in my RSS feed each day. And, good introvert that I am, I consider my own response to the day’s writing prompts which are inviting people to reflect on the year that’s been and “manifest” what’s next.
Now I find the idea of “manifesting” when used in that way theologically kind of difficult. And anyone who knows me would know that the chances of me writing something everyday and publishing it on my Blog aren’t high. But some of the questions are engaging and since I missed posting a 4 months in Beijing reflection I thought trying to sum up some of this crazy, life-altering year might not be a bad thing.
The first reverb writing prompt was about the one word that summarised my year! Now I chose a word back in January and it turned out to be more apt that I could have anticipated. Movement. And I guess relocating to China is a pretty big movement – moved hemispheres, moved house, moved job…
As for who or what I let go of this year… There are lots of things at a practical level. Furniture. Lots of furniture. And owning a car. And being able to put your hands on the exact right book because all the ones you own are in your house or office (though we did ship 11 boxes of books here it is amazing how many are not here. or on the internet!).
And we let go of the ease of being in a place where you mostly know how things go.
And we let go of our beautiful dog, Dominic, and let him make a new family with people who don’t live in Beijing, and who do have a back garden, and who can take him to run off his lead every day.
We let go of proximity. To our families. To our friends.
Why? Because a new community called us. And saying yes felt like the fullest, most free thing to say in response to that!
The Day 7 writing prompt was about community. And we are so glad to have arrived in the community that is the Congregation of the Good Shepherd here in Beijing. But we are also glad for the other places that we find belonging. For our friends whose network of love and care extends across the world. For the pioneers and fresh expressions folk, for the edgy, the exiles, those whose faith and hope takes them beyond inherited forms…. And for those whose homes include a little bit of ours – who have our art on their walls, or our stuff in their spare room cupboard or who let us build a shed in their back garden so we would have a place that is ours! This movement, this adventure, this living and loving is anchored by that love and hospitality. Thank you!
That picture at the top – that’s me with my Beijing haircut and my Beijing green beads! And this one below – me and my mum hanging out, knowing that soon Andrew and I would be going, that in about ten days she would be back to help me pack the house up and take us to the airport and send us off on this China adventure. Photos taken about 5 months apart, same computer, same little blinking green light, probably even same black merino. 2010 life!