Mr. Edwin handles the boxes with care
The work is methodical, rhythmic. Mr. Edwin unhurried, steady. He moves with a grace and precision belying his relaxed manner. Carrying the boxes through the propped-open double doorway.
Music drifts, dreamlike, down a freshly-emptied hallway, echoing off the yawning shelves.
The unwelcome scent of mosquito spray, artificial, sweet, evocative of furniture polish, wafts and reinvigorates my headache. But it’s still better than mosquitoes.
Twenty-two. Got it.
I’m standing with a clipboard, a neatly arrayed hundreds chart of check-boxes. My red pen is poised, waiting for the next number to be called. He walks the boxes to the top of the stairs where the rest of his team travels up and down. I put a red ‘check’ next to each number he calls.
And suddenly, without notice, a lump arrives in my throat.
I’m flattened, for just a moment, by where we are. Where we have been.
Where we are going.
It’s cooler today, but these men still sweat.
They’ve earned it.
Do you load the heaviest boxes first or the light ones
I gather and ground myself with a question
Ah, lightest. Lightest
He responds with a smile
The large pile of boxes in the corner gradually fades to nothing.
We are, once again, faced with separation from our things, faced with sleeping in an empty shell, living out of suits, and cases.
Putting our trust in random humans and mysterious systems, all to get these boxes on a ship. Eventually, assuming all goes well, to the other side of the world.
Our apartment feels lighter. Less to transport in our baggage of emotions. We’ve crossed another hurdle, one more time, to prepare to once again make our way. To start fresh. And eventually, to make home.
It’s a deliberate choice to lead this life of transitions. For ourselves, for our boys. And so, there are comings, and goings, packings. Stowings.
Roughly a thousand days ago we found ourselves watching boxes head out the small cedar gate, under the drooping redwood branches, into the partially loaded truck.
We wondered aloud where this would take us, how it would challenge, change, and mold.
We’ve grown to love so much about this place, this space, this time in our lives. The now-familiar but never easy buildup to transition is frenetic, and pulsing, an overload of tasks and an overwhelm of feels.
As the packed-to-the-gills van slides around the corner and out of our sight
For now, we have a pause.
A final few days
To enjoy the stillness, revel in the cacophony.
Here, on the Gold Coast.
Share some goodbyes. And tears.
Locked inside these boxes, there is significance. There is movement. Transit.
We’re in Mr. Edwin’s hands, now.