Awhile back, we had a tree that was in a pot. We watered it, sat it in the sun, and even pruned its branches from time to time, but after awhile, our tree wasn’t looking so good. It turned out that it had outgrown its pot, and needed to be transplanted.
A bigger pot was bought, soil was readied, and we were ready to move it to its new home.
* * *
The chaos and upheaval are finally settling down. The boxes are (mostly) unpacked, and homes have been found for books, dishes, and artwork; on shelves, in cupboards, and on freshly painted walls.
We have even begun to receive mail here.
This is no longer an empty set of rooms filled with potential, but a set of rooms filled with familiar things; our bikes are parked in the back and our car in the driveway so i guess that all of this means that this is our home.
I’ve been thinking about “home” lately – what does it mean? and how do we know when we are truly there?
If “home” means the place where you store your stuff, and receive your mail, then certainly, this is home for us. But if it means a place of comfort and complete familiarity, where family is or where friends feel like family – I’m not sure we’re there yet.
* * *
I couldn’t believe the roots on that tree when Nathan pulled it from its original pot. Gnarled and twisted, intertwining countless times around each other, those roots had filled the entire pot, and now had nowhere else to grow! That was obviously why it had begun to whither, despite all the sun and water it had been receiving.
My tree did not return to its former green and vibrancy overnight. It took its time, but after awhile, I began to notice less brown and wilting, and more and more green and growth.
* * *
To be perfectly honest, the act of picking up and creating a life, a home somewhere else has been more difficult than I had initially imagined. It’s one thing to move all your things somewhere, find work there, and even begin paying your taxes there, and quite another to feel a sense of home and belonging there.
I think that is has only been since permanently separating myself from Medicine Hat, from friends and family there, that I’ve been realizing how deep my roots there actually ran. Turns out, I have years and years of growth stemming from friends I’ve known for ages, past shared events, places I used to frequent…the list goes on.
* * *
So, like my tree, I’ve been attempting to settle my “roots” in this big, new, unfamiliar pot. It’s been scary sometimes, and definitely lonely at others, but it’s also been – in a way – almost freeing. My gnarled, twisted roots have room to grow here, and that is something.
Looking at my tree today, it has never looked better. It is green and lush and thriving, at home in its new pot.
Yes, home. For now, I will continue to receive my mail here; to work here and play here and pay taxes here. I will continue to water, and stand in the sun, metaphorically.
And hope that this new pot one day will truly be home.