I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to put down roots. For someone who dislikes change as much as I do, I think it strange I should have such a gypsy heart. I wonder if I’ll ever be satisfied with settling down, planting my feet in the dirt, and growing deep into the soil of a place. I have fantasies that one day we will settle in a small New England town where we will call the postman Junior, I will own an inn and frequent the town diner, and everyone will know our names and our favorite flavor of ice cream. And then I realize I’m dreaming of a Gilmore Girls episode, and I’ll never own an inn or be witty in real life.
I also fantasize about moving to London again and living the big city life, where we are surrounded by interesting people who do big city things. There, I will follow in the footsteps of my literary heroes, and we will live near the river and drink copious amounts of tea from a place called Orange Pekoe. And then I realize I’m dreaming of the life I used to live, before my husband developed an aversion to rainy weather and I birthed three kids. Still, I feel the soil of the city clinging to my feet.
We have one year left before we have to pull up the tender roots growing down around Switzerland. They’ll never grow deep here, and I hold the loveliness of this place lightly in my hands. But, I wonder about the future and, truth be told, I worry.We are told we can always go home again, but when we do, we realize we are not the same. Each street and town and country leaves a mark on our DNA. We change, we grow different, molded into a new shape influenced by the people and places we discover. We find the things which delight us in one place, may not delight us in another. The land that inspires and feeds a dream in the early years, may not nourish us in the years to come. And some places don’t nourish us at all.
I don’t know where we will be in a year. I don’t know if we’ll have to bend ourselves into the shape of a place, or if the place will shape itself around us. But I do know it will always leave it’s mark.
Tell me where your putting down roots. How is it changing you?