These past few weeks have been so full of activity for us at the Teach that we are a bit behind on our blog schedule. So we apologize! In the last weeks we have begun Teaching Masses for the Kennedy Park First Communion students, provided music for a remembrance service for the Wexford General Hospital, and recorded our first radio shows with South East radio. And just this week we managed to purchase our Thanksgiving turkeys! Joy and I lugged them to the house in our backpacks, which made for a bit of an awkward (and cold) bus home. We have even begun planning for Advent and Carol services!
The months definitely seem to be moving quickly. I remember, in our first week here, we were often asked, “How are you settling in?” And I thought the question would end when we were over jet lag and stopped looking so tired at morning tea every day. But the question continued into our third week, “How are you settling in?” And then I took it to mean, have you unpacked? Did you figure out where everything is in the house? And I can tell you that the question is still put to me a few times a week. And I realized that it probably won’t ever stop. Because after a month, “How are you settling in?” meant, have you been downtown, do you have a favorite restaurant there, do you know everyone’s names? And after two months, “How are you settling in?” meant, do you miss home, do you mind the rain, or have you started using the fire place?
At each stage of our year here, there will be settling in to do. In the schools, and in the choirs, and in each liturgical season. We will be settling back in after the Christmas holidays, I’m sure. And then we will be settling into the rehearsal schedule for the Passion Play come Easter time. And we will just be settling into the warmer weather when it will be time to return to the States (Sorry, Joy! Many months away, I know). Settling in has come to mean ‘adapting’, or even better, ‘growing’, in my mind. “Are you growing?” they ask us at the end of choir rehearsals, and after lessons in the schools, and when there is a lull in the conversation during tea.
Each day offers a new chance for us to grow. A new chance to ‘settle in’ to this life that will still be new and challenging when it is time to go. It can be difficult sometimes, to allow ourselves to ‘settle in’ when we know that eventually we will have to be digging ourselves up and moving away. But settling in, and allowing the people we work with, the children we teach, the songs we sing, and the colcannon we eat to change how we think, work, and live, is the only way to do it.
May we all continue to “settle in” to our lives, wherever they may take us.