Roots and leaves

ashdown_forest_trees_winter

We were meant to be buying a house. My intended handful of months in this city had already grown into years. We were planning to set down roots indefinitely. Instead, a new job was offered, and we began to listen to a whisper of adventure that stirred our previously hibernating hearts. We’ve answered that call.

So we’ve moved house, city and county. Upended ourselves, our belongings, our lives for a new one. I won’t deny that there’s a practicality to it too. A five-hour daily commute that was steadily chipping away everything else. But it was more than that. We were getting complacent, settling down when we’re still meant to be seeking the treetops.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve thought a lot in this season about what home means. With our belongings in boxes, what was a home became just carpet and walls. Yet the idea that stuff makes the home rankles; it’s so inconsistent with our values. As I wrestled with this, I came to understand that it’s something else. Belongings are tools. They don’t make a life or a home, but they enable it. The boxing of our things indicated that the life we’d built from that house had been dismantled, pulled into pieces. Some parts ready for transport, others left behind with a hushed ‘thank you for the time we had together’.

Now, in this new place we’re beginning to piece things together. Make a home that acts as sanctuary for us. Because home is where you rest. But I think it is also where you build. A platform from which to engage and create, learn and serve. Forge friendships. Enjoy hobbies. Belong to church family. Explore the offerings unique to the city. This all takes a while.

It would be easy, in this time, to feel a little adrift. And sometimes I do. An exile from one place but not yet a native of the new. But we choose whether to remain untethered or whether to anchor ourselves. We don’t know how long we’ll stay in this place, but while we do, we are here. Putting down roots until time and adventure shake them loose again.

ashdown_forest_moss

Today’s soundtrack: London Grammar // If You Wait

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