Musing on Pocket Hankerchiefs

by Linaewen

All this fear of change reminds me of a RW experience I had a little over a year ago...

My hubby and I had been back in the foreign courntry we had lived in for 18 years only a matter of two weeks, after having been gone for over a year (and after struggling with fear and doubt about ever getting back there because of all the post-9/11 hullablaloo). Hubby went to sign in with the police, as is the custom for foreigners living in that place.

He returned home with the news that we had two hours to leave the city. Seems the government had made a new law that foreigners couldn't live in our district. We were supposed to move out just like that and go somewhere else. A bit of a shock, to say the least!

Suddenly, I knew what Bilbo must have felt like, being pushed out the door with not even a pocket hankerchief to his name! How does one cope in a situation like that? We did as Bilbo did -- we just went!

In the end, they gave us 24 hours, but we still had to go. We grabbed what we could and went off to another city, which was familiar, but we hadn't lived there for some time. We stayed in someone else's home until we could figure out what to do next.

We were shocked and frightened and angry, but we discovered that -- much to our surprise -- we were able to cope with the change. It didn't happen overnight, we still struggled with losing our place, our home, our work, everything. It was a HUGE change, and an uncertain time that lasted a VERY long time -- but we really did cope, and grew during that time, and were an encouragement to others who were struggling.

Even sudden change can be adjusted to, though not without heartache!!! We found that even though we had lost our home and couldn't go back, there was still a (somewhat) familiar place to go to, where there were friends and people who loved us and supported us in our crisis. We made it through.

We actually aren't "through" yet -- we still struggle with knowing we can never go back to that place again, even though we can return to the country and begin a new home and a new work there, when we are ready. It won't be the same, but it will be similar. And simliar is good enough if your friends are there.

Bilbo grew from his experience of being forced out of his home unexpectedly, to go on an adventure. That adventure taught him valuable lessons that he was able to teach to others, and in the end, those lessons aided the entire community and saved his land of the Shire.

I may not have my pocket hankerchiefs, but I have the benefit of having lived through a shocking adventure that is reminscent of Bilbo's in many ways -- and this new situation of change is similar as well. I hope I can provide some of the same wisdom as Bilbo was able to later provide to his family, as we work our way through this sudden move. Having been through something similar, I can say with certainty, it's not so bad in this new place, because my friends are with me.

- Linaewen