Our nomadic culture can’t be good for mental and emotional health. I’ve been thinking a lot about the instability that comes with significant change and uprooting, and it must be damaging in its own way: Most obviously, too much loss of people and loss of self. Most subtly, it feeds an addiction to change.
So I’m ready to call it quits on the nomadic culture. It would be one thing if I were part gypsy, moving from place to place with a large group of friends and family. Or another if I lived in a caravan like that of Genghis Khan, where my nation of people flowed across the land as a united river.
But I don’t. And I am here. And I’m quite over being anywhere else.
So what am I doing to establish myself here in this new place? For more than any other move, this one has shown itself to be resistant to our presence.
There are day lilies planted on both sides of our front walk. One side of the walk gets sun while a church steeple shades the other. The day lilies in the sun open themselves easily, greeting the day with petals spread wide. But the day lilies in the shade aren’t so convinced. Their greeting of the new day is reluctant and delayed.
And that’s the way this move has felt. We are here, but the hopes and dreams for which we moved aren’t so convinced its time for our arrival. And so there is a definite delay, a hesitation, an unspoken challenge for us to prove our commitment.
There is a twisting and a contorting of my previous life that must occur in order to make this new one work. I am taking on things I never thought I’d take on, and shedding things I never thought I’d shed. What could convince me to make such radical shifts? Surely not a 200-year-old home, or even a quaint New England town. Not a state that spends most of its year wrapped in frost. Is it pride? Am I afraid to admit we made a wrong choice?
I don’t think it’s the house or the place or the pride.
It’s the vision.
On my hardest days, on the days when everything around me seems shut tight like those lilies to the shade, I am reminded that we came here on purpose. And I close my eyes so I can see it. I can see the renewal center. I can imagine the trails that course through the woods. I can imagine the campfire discussions where fears are broken and insecurities released. We won’t be alone in this forever. But for right now, it’s just us and Him and this place of difficulty.
And so I open my eyes and return to present circumstances. Life feels as exposed and unfinished as my bedroom walls.
But because I can see in the dark, I press on. Taking one step at a time, even if the floor feels a bit unstable.