Sunday, April 18, 2010

Side Streets

photo by grassrootsmsw

Each day I take this side street home from work...while it is the same street, it changes with each season. Brightly canopied and flourishing in the summer; crimson orange and red in the fall; bare and somber in the winter; and now, full of new life and bursting blossoms in the spring. Each of these seasons beckon different feelings from within, but there remains a sense of constancy and safety in knowing that I will take this same side street each day...a feeling of familiarity in a place that doesn't have a history of holding this for me.

I have been in the Southeast for almost a year now, and I have hoped to adjust to this place in the same way the landscape adjusts to the seasons. Somehow, it seems that nature is much more flexible and adaptable than humans are. Maybe because we have memories and we hold on to them so attentively. Maybe, we hold on to a life that has been good, trying to look forward to a new one, but stumbling when there is nothing recognizable or safe in this new place. Even with a sense of adventure and openness, we humans seem to be rooted to the places that offer us nourishment, love, friendship, and family. Why else? We all choose to be defined by the people and places that make us feel complete and a bit better than we were the day before.

Starting over at a later age is so much more challenging than when we were young...we lose those "Gumby" skills. We don't appreciate roots when we are young...we just wander, spreading our seeds all over the place and hoping that they will take root in the "right" place. I am not sure what "right" is, but I believe it is where we laugh a lot and we can absolutely be ourselves, despite the change in seasons.

So for now, I will continue to take my daily side street...hoping I will find roots in a familiar and consistent path, while also holding on to all that has nourished me and reminded me that I can adapt and change without losing myself along the way.