June 18, 2009

LightningA friend sent me a picture taken at night by an oil rig worker. He wanted to capture a lightning strike. When he did the bright light illuminated a huge, fully-formed tornado immediately next to the oil drilling platform. No one knew a tornado was approaching until that moment.

Moving an institution to a new campus reminds me of that picture. My hands are aching, probably because of arthritis but made worse by the lifting of heavy boxes and furniture. Writing personal notes on donor letters remains difficult. Of course, the mental part is just as hard. Does this desk go? What about these files? Is this partition in the assistant area too high for good communication? What do you mean that's what I ordered? Two compressors seized up in the HVAC system? Is that our liability yet? Are those prairie grasses or good old fashioned weeds growing around the parking lot?

And the questions keep on going.

On the other hand, new is nice. Good smells. New gadgets to learn on regulating climate and entering and exiting the building. Funny shaped signs for hybrid vehicles and carpoolers. New carpet. Lots of new.

Perhaps the best part of moving is working together. It takes two (or sometimes three or four) to carry many things. Volunteers surface from different directions. We make new friends and enjoy old ones. When you see an 82 year old alongside a 28 year old pushing book boxes to a waiting trailer and laughing about the best or worse packers among our employees, that makes it not only enjoyable, but also worthwhile.

We will officially occupy our new campus on July 6. I am enjoying (for the most part) the process, the process of moving. Hopefully we will experience the excitement of the whole thing and not experience lightning revealing a tornado coming in the dark.