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Silence as the Union of Opposites

Read my latest Seasons of the Soul column at Patheos:

God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches you by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly—not one. ~ Rumi

Last spring my husband and I decided to embark on a midlife adventure. He quit his teaching career of twelve years, the one he was ready for a break from. Together we sold our home, car, and most of our belongings.

In some ways, our plans came together very quickly—we would move to Austria for a year where I had recently acquired dual citizenship through my father, learn German, and see what life had in store for us next. The seeds had been planted for some time though, between our yearly trips to Vienna, falling more and more in love with the city, and our shared desire to explore living in a different culture.

We live in Vienna now, in a small apartment near the center of the city. Most days I have moments when I feel thrilled to be here, to wander the streets of this beautiful city, to go around each corner in anticipation of what I might discover there. I walk around wide-eyed and gleeful, wondering how I got so lucky to live out a dream.

And most days I have moments when I feel an overwhelming sadness, a homesickness for our comfortable life before, the familiarity of our neighborhood where I knew where to find the things I needed, or a loneliness from missing friends and family who are much too far away.

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3 Responses

  1. I too was in a very similar place in recent years. I can totally relate to the days of feeling so out of place and wanting to run, and simultaneously feeling a sense of awe and gratitude for the opportunity and cherished experiences. Living in a foreign country for an extended period is truly an experience like none other, and only those who have done so can truly understand how it changes you.

  2. Hi Christine,
    I was in the place you are now some years ago,I understand your feelings
    My prayers are with you,Thank you for your teachings .