Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Is it a sense of adventure I suffer from, or rootlessness?

Growing up, I never really imagined myself living more than a six-hour drive from my hometown in central Illinois. Somewhere easy to get back home for the holidays. And I never imagined I'd marry someone whose family lived ten hours east in Pennsylvania. And I never imagined I'd live in Georgia.

But here we are. 

And now that the seed has been planted, I want to live so many other places: Colorado, Maine, Canada, Europe... That's right. I have loved/would love to visit those places on vacation, but somewhere inside me wants to really live all over the place. Become an insider in lots of communities, in lots of landscapes, in lots of cultures.

However, this sense of what I think is adventure or wanderlust conflicts with the part of me that believes in the soul's connection with the land of their birth. I love the flat cornfields of Illinois. I can't help it. I love the simple, friendly-farmer ways, even at the same time that I want to be in the midst of a progressive literary community and vibrant diversity. Most importantly, I love my family, and most of them live within a day's drive of our hometown. Except me and one brother. I hate that I can only see most of them once a year, and we have to pick a holiday instead of being able to enjoy them all, and birthdays and anniversaries and graduations. (I realize I should be thankful that I get to spend even one special time of year with my family--there are many who have lost family, or are estranged from family and don't even get the option.)

This year everybody--my immediate family and spouses--are getting together for Thanksgiving in Chicago. Even my brother in California and his wife will be there. And Andrew and I weren't going to be able to go. But then we reevaluated our schedules, Andrew arranged his work schedule and made last-minute sacrifices so that we could drive to IL for Thanksgiving. 

I'm, seriously, SO thankful. And really excited. Have I said yet that I love my family?

So that's what I'll be doing instead of blogging on Friday. Have a happy holiday everyone! Enjoy your roots this week, or maybe, enjoy doing something adventuresome.


  1. So glad you came and we got to see you for a little bit!

  2. I know! I'm glad I got to see you and Jason again. You two are so sweet!

  3. It was absolutely wonderful having you here and having the WHOLE family together. Once a year is good but difficult really establish closeness. What has to happen to allow a change?

  4. Well, I'm not found of flat cornfields in the least, so don't count on me moving closer. :-)

  5. I vote on establishing the village of New Trub, California. Up in the Santa Cruz mountains. It will be our self-sustaining Swartzendruber enclave. :)