thinking about being rooted, standing firm on the ground, like
a giant redwood. A tree that started as a small seedling, provided
it doesn't get trampled by the a random hiker, a rum runner
or horse and wagon. Now this very tall and strong redwood is
being studied by a biologist.
think about big families. Families with so many cousins and
a few removed running around. Meeting for holidays and birthdays,
filling a house and then some. They share a history and are
for better or worse weaving a collective tapestry. Something
to hand down through the ages. I guess holidays make me think
about this more, because we have a very small family, which
has shrunk dramatically over the last few years. My children
don't have any cousins. We don't have an extended family. We
are a dying line.
also considering uprooting the children. The shallow roots that
keep us here aren't deep, spread out more like ivy, clinging
to the fragile top layer of soil, not penetrating, but all the
same, this uprooting will hurt, but it isn't like they are as
deep as a redwoods. Or are they? We don't seem to have an answer
where we hang our hats? Can we move our home in a series of
boxes and in this case a shipping container? Is a flat in a
country so different from our green yard and suburban comforts
really going to feel like home, just because we are all there
together? Are we ready to go where no one knows our name and
really all start out as seedlings again? Am I strong enough?
I wonder if the homebody or the wanderlust gene will prevail.
What will my children remember when their children ask them
about growing up? Will the tale be a story of the empty house
at the holidays, the network of friends who really make up our
family of today or will they remember the grand adventures?
What do I remember about my husband and I's grand adventures,
before we started our own little garden. I remember being with
decide what is best. Is it better to fly free like the migrating
bird or stand firm like the giant redwood. Is stability a state
of being or a state of mind. It could be that we are merely
continuing what my husband's family began, his father uprooted
after the second world war and his mother, she uprooted herself,
for reasons we may never come to know. Her family, overseas,
has pruned her very existence from the stories, not wanting
to talk about those times. The entire branch, gone from the
story, like one prunes and shapes a bush or a bonsai tree, carefully
and methodically, her story is missing from the family narrative.
case, I have inherited the cards and letters, pictures from
long ago, but to what end. There are two generations missing
from my children's lives. My grandparents dead now for over
a decade and a half and my mother gone during their very young
years, their branch to the past disappeared before they even
knew what to ask. It is lost on them, that I roll the pie dough
out with the same rolling pin my great-grandmother did. The
new table in our family is actually her wedding present, given
to her by her beau, my great-grandfather. This has no grounding
for them. They don't understand the connection to the past.
so much lost in between, those people, those objects, they have
no frame of reference, no connection. They hear me framing a
story and it is just that, a story, not their story. It isn't
even a story they can see me in.
are our roots? Are we raising kids, who have more in common
with a hydroponic tomato than a giant redwood? Will their history
be as colorless and tasteless?
we perhaps raising children who are learning to define roots
differently? Will they value the relationships you choose and
forge through shared experiences more than the ones that are
accidents of birth?
I ponder who can answer these questions? Who are the great philosophers
of our days? As I sat thinking last night and reading more about
the place we are considering going, a place that both fascinates
me and scares me, and Pandora plays for me, "You are aTourist"
by Death Cab for Cutie and then I think, am I a rolling stone?
Am I like so many other people, who just can't stay in one place?
felt grounded to this place, in part to our mothers. And they
are gone, they have left us and here we are, not in a place
we picked, but the place we found ourselves. That anchor is
gone now, so does that make us pirates,marauders or minstrels?
Are we in search of a new home, new roots, better soil. Are
we seeking some greater truth, do we desire to prove to ourselves
it doesn't matter where, but rather who, or are we seeking adventure,
to prove we really are still alive, rootless though we may feel.
just don't know. As I thought about, I think many people don't
know. If it is true that the poets of today are singers and
songwriters and if the rock and rollers are the ones providing
us the soundtrack to our lives, then there is no answer to my
questions. There are just as many songs about going home as
there are about leaving.