Sunday, October 23, 2011

The winds of change

Exactly two months ago, Jen and I were in Thailand heading to the Phi Phi Islands, our first adventures just beginning. That thought in mind, I realize these last two months have been some of the most exciting of our 15 months since moving to Guam. The chance to do so many new things (skydiving!) and explore so many new places is one I never expected. When we moved out here, my travel goal was to make it to three places... Japan, The Philippines and Palau. I never imagined I would make it to so many others as well (with Palau still to come in 2012... I can't believe it either).

Throughout these two months, amid all the travel, there have been some changes brewing. One big change, that I have had a chance to share with many of you but have failed to mention here, is that we are likely no longer going to be moving back to San Diego after our tour in Guam. To those who might not feel the impact of that change like I do, please understand I'm finally getting to the point where I can tell people that and write that here without tearing up. Those of you who know me well, know how much I love, no, LOVE San Diego, especially Coronado. It has somehow become part of my soul. Ever since we moved, I have been envisioning what my life would look like there on the other side of our time here, how I would tuck this adventure into my heart, wrap these memories into the essence of who I am, and arrive back into my old circles of friends and resume my Sunday sailing routine with a refreshed sense of self. Now I must tuck those visions away, hoping (as only a navy wife can) that they still may wind up possible down the road one day.

Instead, Nick and I are choosing orders to Virginia Beach. The discussion to change coasts first emerged the second week of August, and though it had nothing to do with the awful news of the previous week, I couldn't help but be reminded of just how different things will be once he returns to his regular role. Workups, training trips, deployments. All the routine of San Diego, but on a new, unfamiliar stage. Contemplating this next step instigated premature thoughts about life after paradise... afternoon snorkeling trips, a Saturday morning discovering a waterfall not on the map, fitting in a super-twilight round of golf on a workday afternoon. All of these will be things of the past, things I will have to reach back into those tucked away memories to relive. I'm already so glad they are archived here for me to turn to in those future moments when reality seems too much.

All that said, I am starting to get excited about to look forward to our prospective new location. Our new city is home to dear friends we have not connected with much these past few busy years. It's an opportunity to put down roots and to be nearer to family who live up and down the East Coast. And like any new place, it holds the prospect of worthwhile ventures, relationships, and experiences yet unknown. There is no part of me that fears where we will live or what I will do there or who I will call my friends. I am confident those details will be taken care of. No, it is not arriving in Virginia Beach that will be so difficult. It is leaving Guam that will.

Which is why I am so excited that along with our orders east, we are given an extra couple of months here. We anticipate it will be September next year when we make the big move, leaving us another summer here, packing out just as rainy season begins again. I know two months are short on the calendar these days... but when it comes to two extra months in paradise, you have little choice but to smile and say thank you.

Another significant change in the works is that after nine years here, the beloved pastor of our church (who also happens to be my boss) put in his resignation a few weeks ago. He, understandably, plans to move back home to be closer to children and grandchildren. His last Sunday will be Christmas Day, meaning a new boss and spiritual mentor is in my future as well. I'm not so much worried about the new leader who will pick up where Pastor Jeff left off. I'm more struck by the recognition of a very important season here on Guam coming to an end. But I suppose that is what seasons by their very nature are so inclined to do... they come... they go...

Nick and I returned from Singapore to a noticeably cooler Guam. Highs this week have been only around 86, with ample sunshine despite the sogginess of rainy season that continues while we sleep. The evening breeze has turned a shade cooler and the darkness of the night sets in much earlier. Even here, in eternal summer, there is evidence that the seasons are changing, as seasons do. And though I catch myself thinking about the bulk of sweaters and the wisp of scarves I will be wearing this time next year, I force myself to stop and simply enjoy the current day's warmth. Sometimes anticipation of change can seem heavier than change itself. And so I pause, intent on enjoying every day we have left here... every blessed gift of a day together.

...and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
~Acts 17:26


  1. Pastor Jeff is leaving? I guess there is always a time but that church will never be the same without him. Colin and I however are looking forward to you joining us out here next year!

  2. Peyton, I haven't even finished reading this post, but if you are coming to Virginia Beach you HAVE TO, HAVE TO, HAVE TO consider living in Ghent/West Ghent. It is fantastic with so much character, so much to walk to, and such an amazing neighborhood/community feel. We have met the most amazing people and felt so settled here after just a couple of months! We have friends that live in this neighborhood that commute to NAS Oceana and it's not bad (reverse commute, so no traffic). Please, please PLEASE consider this area---no offense to Virginia Beach, which is great, but we absolutely love Ghent and I think you really would too. I'm sorry that you don't get to go back to Coronado, which I can tell you loved, though. :(

    If you need a place to stay we have a 3rd floor guest room, and please at least let us have you over for dinner and show you our wonderful neighborhood. :)


  3. This is what I mean by awesome people living in the area - We will definitely check it out Meghan and thanks for offering your guest room! Cait - we are excited to be nearby again... our overlap on Guam was way too short!


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