From the moment we drove off the ferry onto Shelter Island, this song popped into my head. With every turn, it was like entering a fairytale or east coast novel. I truly have never seen anything like this beautiful place before, and that was before everything began to bloom.
Here we are. Almost 3 weeks into our new lives here on Shelter Island. All of our family has left, the Uhaul emptied, the ordination service has come and gone, and it is just the two of us: Stephen and I. (And Audrey of course.)
I am sitting on our screened in back porch which is filled with spots of sunlight and beautiful flowers from many different people. It reminds me of the sunroom in my parents home. Warm, comfortable, and quiet. There must be butterfly bushes planted near by because handfuls of white butterflies keep passing my view point from my grandmothers large wicker chair. It’s not too hot with the island breeze that seems to be ever present. I am sitting in a whimsical world that I am very quickly calling home.
Across the way, just past the summer filled trees and bushes is the cemetery that sits just next the church. Our church. The one that Stephen rode his bike to today, and walked to yesterday. Our daily visitors don’t really consist of congregants (yet), but of what I believe to be a doe who has put our backyard on her rounds, and a family of turkeys that seems to have two mothers and five quickly growing babies. Mixed in with the rabbits and bluebirds, I feel as though I should be singing all the time and dressing like Snow White.
Our days this week have been filled with work, walks on the beach, meals for two, constant adjustments to the house, and time…just the two of us. Every morning I wake up in the house of one of the congregants and head on over to the manse, which I laughingly say is Stephen’s all the time home and my home during the day, until we get married that is. I have this new appreciation for where we are every morning, a new revelation to sit with as the sun comes up disgustingly early and the sounds of a Disney film fill the room I’m sleeping in. Every day, I drive up to our house and am awestruck by the fact that this cedar shake covered home with the red door is ours. What does God want me to see, to hear, to smell, to say today?
It would be unfair of me to make this life we have begun sound like all woodland creatures and beaches. The bringing together of two families is incredibly difficult, and our first two weeks here had its mix of joy and misery. Oh, and there is that matter of Stephen starting as a brand new pastor and a new church in a new place. Yet, here we are embarking on something that I truly believe was planned for us, and those two weeks of a home filled with more family than it could hold only make me more grateful for all that we’ve been given, and for this moment, in my grandmother’s wicker chair, on our back porch, in our new home.
Welcome to Shelter Island. I can’t wait to bring all of you along with me!
Truly (and with gratitude),