Welcome to Our World
Yesterday I got a postcard from Fourth & Family, announcing their new address. Oh, I thought, I should send them a house-warming card. But after wasting an afternoon blocking the greeting card aisle at Target, nothing seemed to give the right message. Not only is this a more personal way to keep in touch but also much more personally productive. I can spend "quality" time with the boys stretched out at my feet; the girls have taken supervisory poses on the desktop; and mackerel-kelp crunchies are baking in the oven. Moving is an intersting thing. Of course, where I live there is always somebody moving in or moving out. We get accoustomed to that fleeting sadness when a good neighbor moves away, and extend tentative greetings to new neighbors, until we determine how they're going to be. Some people move all the time. Maybe they see each move as a step in some sort of direction. I guess those are people who know where they're going. Parts of moving seem kind of exciting: meeting new people, becoming part of a new community, figuring out the fastest shortcuts, discovering the best carry-out food. Even more, moving seems like a great chance to become a new person; to shuck the old baggage and try on a new image. But maybe that's not really true. I always think of the Anne Tyler story, Ladder of Years, where the heroine one day just walked out of her life. Despite her best intentions to make a new start, within months she found she had created the same situations. Wherever you go, there you are. Of course, because it's an Anne Tyler book, everything ends well and the heroine returns to her family with a better understanding of herself and more appreciation for the people she walked away from. Perhaps that's what moving is about: Casting yourself against a new geography in order to highlight the essential you.