Thirteen years in Western Pennsylvania.
Five years in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Four years in Lubbock.
Three years in the Dominican Republic.
Three years in Small Texas Town #1.
Two years in Small Texas Town #2.
Three years in Small Texas Town #3.
Three years in Fort Worth.
Four years in Northeast Ohio.
Eight years in Virginia.
Eight years in the same town, the same community, the same church, the same schools….
I think it means something, this first taste of roots and permanence since my childhood. I think there’s something to the way life feels different, the new way old friendships feel, the fresh wonder of being in it for the long haul. Learning about the ebb and flow of watching the days and years go by in the lives of others, of seeing children grow and leave home and graduate and get married and have children, and to be here for it all, to see it up close. To see life, lived, and be part of it, a wider web, a deeper connection.
Life in community.
I’ve never really done this before. I have a few long-time friends, but not many. Facebook reconnections are often little more than amusing bits of trivia and distraction. It doesn’t feel like I really know anybody from this scattered history.
Bits and pieces of me, scattered here and there. But I’m done. I’m here, I’m staying put, I’m rooted.