We made several significant moves when I was a kid, back in the days before Facebook, before email, and long before kids were allowed to use the phone for long-distance phone calls. In those days, when you moved, you moved.
And I liked it. I liked reinventing myself, even as a kid. I liked being able to start over as the person I knew I was becoming, instead of having to plod along, before witnesses, as the person that I wasn’t yet. When I moved to the States for university, I shook the dust of Calgary from my feet, I never looked back. And again and again and again, I remained the new girl, the new-in-town one, the expert box-packer, the one without a past verified or known except by my own admissions. My solution for discomfort: let’s move. I used a “love of change” as a cover for “fear of being known.” Plus, we might as well add in some good old-fashioned evangelical baggage which celebrates the one-who-goes more than the one-who-stays, too.
My husband, Brian, is the homesteader to my pioneer. Even though we kept moving throughout the early years of our marriage, for jobs and seminary and family, he longed for a sense of home, generations deep. Now, we’re on the edge of the continent together, and this place isn’t technically “home” for either one of us. But our roots are going down anyway and I find myself, for once, crazily, longing to stay and grow old here.
The recovery of a sense of place, and the sacredness of staying, has become a pillar in my spiritual formation, particularly in the past eight years or so.
P.S. I’ll be attending the SheLoves Conference in Surrey, B.C. this coming weekend. I’ll be the one crying in the front row because, well, that’s what I do when I’m gathered up with women who love Jesus and justice and laughing together. Hope to see you there.