Like seasons and birthdays, our comings and goings were a normal part of our lives. When we reached adulthood, we would meet others who had never moved and we would be amazed. On the surface, we felt arrogant – “look at us, we’ve been everywhere” was our silent thought that shouted loudly in our attitudes.
But just below the surface, we longed for weekly family dinners and shopping trips with moms or sisters; for fights that were resolved because they had to be; and for tight family units that stuck together through the years.
While we were roaming the globe collecting stories through the stamps on our passports, others were creating homes and building lives. Each choice came with both joys and challenges.
When your identity is semi-rooted in movement, then you face a crisis when you stay put, when you plant roots, when you’re ‘stable.’
And then if we did settle down, we felt the guilt of stability and wondered how our lives had become so predictable and so mundane. We made the mistake of equating stability with stagnancy.
Stability – strong, secure, safe, steady, firm. Those are adjectives with substance. They mean something. They are foundational to living well. Stability can be present in a life of movement or in a life where you are rooted in one place. Stability is not about where you live, it’s about how you live.*
And in all this, the seasons still came and left, and in between we continued to live.
*from the Guilt of Stability
Quote on photograph from Worlds Apart: A Third Culture Kid’s Journey
2 thoughts on “Like the Seasons….”
If this is repeat, please forgive. I just reread this (May 24) and appreciated your understanding of us “stay at home” folks. A nephew of Russ who grew up in Japan, and has traveled quite a bit since put on FB the following quote from Mark Twain’s “Innocents Abroad” : “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
I don’t often comment on these kinds of entries, but since most of my friends, family and acquaintances have lived in one place, happily and usefully all their lives, I HAD to respond that opportunity to travel should not be a matter of pride but of gratitude. Don’t you think so ?
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