Home is where the heart is. Home is where our family is. Home is where we came from. Home is where our work takes us. Home is where we choose to settle. Home is where we end up.
Well, yes, all of these things can be true, but home is also anywhere and in any season we choose to be content and offer something of ourselves to the community we inhabit. In essence, to bloom where we’re planted.
I’ve been thinking about the concept of home and made a little graphic showing the places where I’ve lived and the paths between them.
Four places, two of them twice.
Let’s break it down. In Moose Jaw, SK, I lived in 1 home; in Princeton, BC, 2; in Kamloops, BC, 5; in Auburn, WA, 1; back in Kamloops, 1; and now, back in Moose Jaw, 1. Are you still with me? That’s a total of 11 houses spread over 6 places. Which of these were homes? All of them.
As I reflect on the years spent in each, I remember both joy and sorrow in different proportions based on the season I was in at each. Deep depression. Mountaintop exhilaration. And, more often than not, the quotidian daily grind of simply living life.
In the early unsettled years, I looked to the future, wishing and hoping for something different that would make life “better” (whatever that means). It wasn’t until I endured a long season of darkness, that I learned contentment wasn’t dependent on a place or a person or circumstance. Contentment was a gift that came with maturity and wisdom and the knowledge that I was loved and had a unique purpose. Sure, at times, I grew (and grow) restless, but the mantra “bloom where you’re planted” took root and I realized contentment was, largely, dependent on me.
It’s only been a short time but, having come full circle, I love calling Moose Jaw home again. Even so, there has already been sorrow here and there’s more to come. There’s nothing magic about this place (well, maybe a little 🙂 ).
I could choose to be content in any of the places I’ve lived were I forced to return (one would be more challenging than others, but the choice is mine to make) or somewhere I haven’t yet been to. There are positives and negatives about every place and season, and wisdom has taught me not to tie myself to places or things in the hope of finding peace. I won’t find it by chasing it.
With all of that said, I consider myself abundantly blessed to have the opportunity to return to Saskatchewan, a dream I’ve held in my heart for a half century and that I was on the cusp of releasing. I don’t take the gift lightly.
Life won’t be all sunshine and rainbows going forward, but I am home and I am content and, in these, feel like a wealthy woman, indeed. I believe that sentence could be true for me no matter where I lived, but I won’t deny it’s all the sweeter because I’m here.