Our Nelson house — and our lives — feel strangely empty. Not that this emptiness is a bad thing. The empty space in both is pregnant with possibilities, and we’re looking forward to seeing how things evolve, to enjoying the process of filling them. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the space. Space to do splits and pliés and yoga and wander around playing violin. Space to breathe, to plan, to contemplate, to settle.
Currently there are five hours of scheduled activities in Nelson for Sophie and Fiona. Those five hours span four days of the week. Next week that will jump up to seven hours. The following week we’re up to 12. But without school having started as originally expected, there’s a lot of fallow time. It’s been lovely; we spent two and a half days in Nelson this week “playing house.” We can walk downtown, stop at the artisanal bakery for brioche, linger over vintage paper designs and décor possibilities in a nifty new store, meander by the library. We can drink tea and read and explore the pathways that short-cut the trip to the high school (I’m speaking literally here, though in Fiona’s case you might wonder). Currently the only utilities hooked up are electricity and water. Next week we’ll get internet, but for now things are very simple.
Next week Sophie will stay on her own for a couple of days, because Fiona has no real reason to be there the whole week and we’re trying to maintain a family life at home too. With little in the way of structure to her days and not much of a social network in place yet, I imagine she’ll be glad of the company when we arrive. Still, she’s relishing the prospect of solitude and the independence. The school strike has given us a very lovely way of transitioning stress-free into our part-time living-elsewhere arrangement.