I can be quite the dreamer and have spent lots of time conjuring up the rest of the world while living up here in Alaska. I miss traveling unfettered, delighting in the world’s differences. I miss being humbled and full hearted over the strangers I meet. I miss the variety in textures, tastes, and temperatures. I also feel compelled to be sharing this global culture with my children in a way that feels difficult in our hometown.
But when I am honest with myself, I know just as well that I was lonely and unsettled when I had that freedom. I know that I need and want a home. It feels just as important to me to be sure to give my children a real sense of home and I know that I am the one responsible for creating that. I have a long way to go in figuring out how to do this successfully.
I read a blog by a writer named Elizabeth Grant Thomas, and she summed up these feelings so perfectly using the metaphor of a tree. She said:
“An image has been presenting itself to me lately. It is a towering tree with a canopy of fingered branches and a deep, sprawling root system. To me, this tree symbolizes growing both down and out into life, in equal measure. It is an image filled with a sense of rooting oneself firmly in place while continuing to spread one’s self outward and upward. It is the very balance I have struggled to adopt for the past several years… I struggle to discern in what ways I want to root myself and in what ways I want to unfurl myself.”