Surprise! We're Moving To Boston

Surprise! We’re moving to Boston.

(Holy shit.)

What’s the story? Simple, really.

Robb got an epic job in Cambridge. A once-in-a-lifetime job. The kind of job that will take us to Europe. The kind of job for which you pick up and move your family 3000 miles across the country to a place where it snows — a lot — and people have strange accents and root for the Red Sox and use “wicked” as an adjective.

I am so proud of him. He’s knocked this one outta the park. Grand Slam. Papa Bear in the HOUSE.

So here we go.

Life comes at you in unexpected ways.

Who’d have thought, 15 years since either of us lived within spitting distance of I-95 and or cursed (erm, traversed) the New Jersey Turnpike on a regular basis, we’d be moving back to the Eastern Seaboard?

I mean, weren’t we West Coast/Best Coast people for life?

Gah! Life.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from yoga, Buddhism, meditation: it’s that everything changes. Impermanence, baby. You try to cling to what is, and you’ll always, ever, be sadly disappointed.

The timing makes total sense, actually.

I’d been flush with this feeling of happiness lately, the kind of “profound okayness” Tara Brach talks about, looking around at my life and appreciating its sweet balance of work and family and school for Duke and hiking and libraries and favorite brunch spots and music class with cousins and you name it. Feeling really settled, really pleased, quietly content with our lives here.

But as the vinyasa reminds us: the dance that is life just keeps flowing. Just when you hit a really sweet spot, things change.

Whether you’re thrilled or tortured in a particular pose (read: moment of life), it always passes. You hold that Revolved Triangle for 5 breaths and are relieved when it’s over and you can exhale into a Chaturanga. You lift up into that deep backbend for five breaths and thrum with the vitality that comes with opening up and creating so much fearless space, and ease back down into a bittersweet sadness when it’s over. You fold forward into that comfortable old friend Janu Sirsasana and feel like you could stay there forever, it’s so right and good and familiar and effortless.

But then it passes.

So here we are. The vinyasa has shifted. We held the pose, we breathed into it, we were in it all the way, to the best of our abilities, knowing it wouldn’t last forever, and now we turn to the next.

This is life.

This is yoga.

My final class here in Portland will be Weds. March 15th. We’ll put our house on the market and squeeze in a week of East Coast house-hunting after that. The last week of March, the movers will load the truck, we’ll ship our cars 3000 miles, and board a one-way flight to Boston.



So much excitement. I am uber-stoked to live just a few minutes from Harvard Divinity School. To attend nerdy theology lectures and take Duke to libraries and explore the corners and crevices of Boston itself. To visit Cape Cod and Walden Pond and take kayaks up to New Hampshire. To have Duke's grandfather on the same coast so we can see him more often. To live close to Bernie Country and reconnect with old friends up and down the East Coast. And Google tells me the closest Unitarian church is parked right there on Harvard Square itself. How cool is that?

Perhaps most thrilling? Having feisty progressive truth-teller Elizabeth Warren as our hometown Senator.

My Bronx-born baseball-player Yankee-fan husband is stoked to hit up games together at Fenway Park. (We’ll arrive just in time for Opening Day.) We’ll take the train into New York City to catch Broadway shows, to see our dear friend and mentor Dorothy, and to visit old friends in Brooklyn. We’ll ride Amtrak to Delaware to reconnect with old college friends and kick it at Rehoboth Beach.

All of which translates to: JOY.

So much joy.

But on the flipside: Sadness. Grief. Of course, right? Nothing in life is ever black-and-white. Only so many varying shades of grey.

We imagined we’d live here in Portland for a good long time. Far beyond anything else, having to leave my sister, my brother-in-law, and our two nieces, whom we joined here in Oregon at the same time, is the ultimate in heartbreak. There’s no papering over that disappointment, that sense of loss. It has been the joy of my life watching our kids play together, laugh together, sing together, celebrate holidays together. It has been a revelation and a grace to have my sister and brother-in-law here to share meals and stories and snow chains. And I know we will ache for their absence for a long, long time. My heart is heavy even writing that.

Not to mention YoYoYogi. My marvelous YoYos: thank you for welcoming me into your home. Even though my chaturanga-filled California-style vinyasa may have felt different at first. ;) You made our family yours and I will be ever grateful for the sweaty breaths we shared. Students and colleagues, please join me for my last few classes before I say goodbye on the 15th.

Professionally, I’ll be postponing a few events we had planned for this spring and summer, given all the house-buying and stuff-moving and job-starting and school-finding action going on for the next few months.

But hear me out, West Coast: you’ll always be my first true love, and you won’t be able to shake me.

Stay tuned for a rescheduled Point Reyes yoga/hiking retreat sometime this fall, a special yoga class benefit for The Anata Project in SF, and maybe a few Oakland philosophy workshops, too. Details to come once we unpack our Vitamix and find the box with our toothbrushes and figure out how to get Duke to go to bed three hours earlier than he’s used to.

(Pacific Standard Time, I’m gonna miss you.)

Finally: I don’t know a goddamned thing about Boston, so those of you with history and/or family and/or experience there, please feel free to pour out your knowledge upon us. We’ll be leaning on you as we fumble our way through new accents, new neighborhoods, and new transit systems.

(Hang tight, Senator Warren. We’re on our way.)

Love to you. Love to this life. Love to the unexpected adventures it brings.

I am grateful you are along for the ride.


Robyn said…
Hi Rachel,
You don't know me personally, but I used to attend your Sunday morning Flying classes in Oakland regularly for about the last year+ before you moved to Portland (back row corner, ftw). I was excited to take your class in Portland when I'm up there visiting my friends over Spring break. Turns out your last class will be 2 days before I arrive!! I've REALLY miss your classes. Have you ever video or audio recorded one of your classes? I would purchase a recording if one is available. Let me know (if you can find a bit of time to respond). Also, can you recommend any yoga teachers in the North Bay Area? I just moved to Petaluma. Good luck with YOUR move!
Rach said…
Hi Robyn,

Thanks so much for your sweet comment! Loved hearing from you. I miss the hell outta that Sunday morning Flying class. :( My heart. Bummed that I will just miss you when you are here.

I have not recorded any classes in the past (I'm pretty shy, so I tend to avoid any kind of device). :) But I will brainstorm on that and think about making one available on my website. Thanks for the inspiration.

We lived in Petaluma for a year and loved it! (Shout-out to the West Side.) Shane Davis is very good. Tony Briggs (I think that's the correct name?) is a very well-respected Iyengar teacher and if you just google "tony petaluma yoga" you should find his contact info. And we have dear friends who own YogaToes in Point Reyes, Nick and Amanda Giacomini, and they are SO worth a visit. Peggy Orr and Melissa McLaughlin teach there too, and are fantastic.

Enjoy Petaluma!!

Robyn said…
Thanks for the recommendations!!!
I know a recording could never fully capture the experience of sitting in a hot steamy room belting out chants from the back row, but I figured I'd ask. Let me know if you end up making a recording. :)
Good luck with your move!

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