Both sides of my family have roots deep in specific places and embedded in agriculture and a love and respect for the land. Land that their lives have been built around and that has built and shaped the individuals, both families and is part of who I am even though I’ve never called either of those particular places home for more than a few days at a time.
I love to travel. I love new places and people, exploring – I don’t much like having change thrust upon on me, but I love being the one who is changing, moving and doing something new. I always semi pictured my life spent moving fairly often, maybe putting down roots either in some distant land or future time, but at least in the imaginable future being more on the move. And yet, I’ve very much attached myself to my little corner of the world. Nearly 17 years ago I moved into a dorm room on a university campus in a small town near Portland. I moved a few dozen miles away after graduating, but 7 years ago bought a house barely a mile from that dorm room and have called that town home since. I don’t own nearly enough land for any agricultural endeavors larger than my mostly shaded small garden, but I do own a little bit of land and a house here. I run into people I know from my undergrad days or other businesses in town nearly every time I go to the grocery store and the library staff know me by name. I’ve attended the same church for over 14 years. A church that isn’t much older than those 14 years, that I’ve seen grow and change
immensely over the years. That I’ve fallen in love with, been frustrated by, been challenge by, grown along with and fallen in love with again. That knows me and that I’ve helped shape in small ways as well I think. I’m known here at this coffee shop I love and frequent almost daily when in town. I’ve built my own roots and community that I love and is very much a part of me. I’ve lived in this area, gone to this church and been part of this community longer than I have been anywhere else in life.
So maybe that rootedness is more important to me than I used to think when I dreamed dreams of travel, movement and adventure. Dreams I’ve accomplished in many ways and ones that still live on, but have morphed and changed a bit as well. Somehow those roots make it more possible to both adventure and to come home maybe. They for sure make me a more stable and healthy person. My parents were somehow able to encourage us to dream, adventure, and travel, explore and learn, while giving us roots and stability to return to. Something I think more and more as I get older is no small feat to accomplish as a parent.