Saturday, October 09, 2010

Feeling a bit sad

Don't worry, I'm not drowning in the depths of despair or anything like that. I am just a little bit less of my usually cheery self than usual (or as a newspaper recently described me - a bit less of a 'jolly Motorcycle-riding Vicar').

The news that has brought about this alteration to my disposition is that the friends with whom we share ownership of a property in France would like to 'buy us out' and in return for a share of our contributions over the past five years, less a few expenses. would have complete ownership of the property (which they pretty much have anyway).

An odd thing to feel upset about, but on reflection I realise this is because of a number of factors which I do think its worth mentioning here - partly because this is meant to be a place of reflection and meaning as well as home to my occasional rants!

Firstly this represents the end of a certain stage in our friendship with this other family. Not that we aren't friends still, but that since we moved away from Cambridgeshire it has been difficult to maintain the level of contact we would like with our old friends. Their family are growing up and their children would like to use the house in the summer time without their parents around and our part in the agreement prevents that freedom. It's change for them and for us - and though it has taken a while to catch up on this front, it has done now. I think they were very generous in letting us come in with them on the original purchase and should we have stayed in Cambridgeshire this particular 'ending' may or may not have happened, as we would perhaps have worked out different ways of using the house as we went along but being so far away from them makes communication less natural and more difficult. So reason number one for my sadness I think is mourning that loss of a certain level of relationship and realising that it is the breaking of a connection with friends. One of the hazards of ministry is that we move on, often some distance away, and keeping up with friendships that are 'easy' in situ is not always as easy some way away from each other...

Secondly I realise that I am a 'person of place'. Some people like exploring, some people sit lightly to where they live, some people do feel at home 'wherever they lay their hat'. I don't. I think I'm quite flexible in where I live and where I stay, and we have moved as a family three or four times in the past ten years and before the children arrived we moved six times in ten years (or was it seven?) but it doesn't take me long to invest in a place, to feel that I am at home there, and to make a place 'mine'. Even in someone else's house with someone else's furniture I've felt comfortable in rented accommodation over the years. And despite the fact that our share in this house is very small compared to the outlay of our friends there has been a sense of making a place home in 'our' French house. I enjoyed exploring from a base, feeling at home enough to branch out, and (in the past few years) meeting up with other good friends who visited the area too - as well as having the freedom to invite other folk to come and stay with us and not worry about how the logistics of that were going to work.

Lastly, I guess its just about memories - though I found our last holiday slightly difficult for various reasons, the past five years (every year since our son was born) have collected many good and happy memories in those three weeks we spent in the same place every year.

So we will be taking our good friends up on their offer of buying out our share - particularly as they obviously want to invest more in the place, continue to make it their own and make improvements to it, have the flexibility to call it theirs and go when suits their family and its needs. They are great friends and I'll miss that connection, but don't feel any resentment - particularly as with their usual care they have made a generous and thought out offer for our share. I guess its time to make some more memories somewhere else...

Still sad though...

4 comments:

Lesley said...

I find echoes of this sort of sadness often - there are so many endings and closings of doors and changes, and although I do all that stuff often, I can't help but grieve, and I don't like the emotion at all.

I suppose it is compensated by new beginnings and openings possible futures...

Thanks for sharing your feelings..

Suem said...

I can relate to this. It is incredible how emotive memories can be, especially of old friends, old places and times gone by. I've lost touch with a few friends over the last few years, mainly because life is busy, or they have moved, or just that our children are getting older and we don't come in contact at birthdays and events like that anymore.

We had a place we used to go with the children, the other day we visited it just on our own. It brought back lovely memories, but there is a sadness in the walk down memory lane - you realise those times won't come back!

But, as Lesley says, at least there is the future.

quilly said...

Change is one of the hardest things to cope with. I love new adventures, but I hate letting go of what I know and love -- even knowing that without letting go, I limit my chances for new adventures. I understand your grief.

Melli said...

Awwww... how'd I miss this post? I can totally understand your sense of melancholy... I think I would feel the same. But this does certainly open a new door too... new vacations exploring other places! And perhaps you might have a chance to "visit" with your friends in the old place from time to time?

That is a darling photo of your children! :)