Sunday, March 12, 2006

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.


  • Moving has always been something I wanted to experience. I admire people who do. Maybe I'll give it a temporary run sometime in the future, like teaching English in Korea or some such humanitarian but come-homeable situation. I do get terribly homesick when away. But one never knows what opportunities lie ahead, so when they come I am willing to give it a go.

    By Blogger fifth in-law, at 12:42 PM  

  • Yup, the key word there is come-homeable. And there are all sorts of ways to define "home". The epi-center of your extended family? The place where you spent your formative years?

    By Blogger First, at 3:40 PM  

  • I gave this definition of "home" some thought and came up with this personal opinion. There are 2 factors that make a home. The first is physical: the familiar surroundings, the soft pillow, the favorite chair. Then there is the emotional: a non-judgemental environment, the place you want to be when you're sick, safety in all its forms, a tailwagger that is always glad to see you, and the daily opportunity to give as well as receive. My conclusion, then, is that my home is wherever I can create this kind of situation.

    By Anonymous fifth in-law, at 8:55 AM  

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