If you’re going to live la vida local, part of the joy is celebrating those places where your life was “local” before.
This weekend I went “home” to my college for our 40th reunion. (ok, one more chorus of darling we are growing old, move on. sing a loud raucous chorus of a college chant). It was, it always is, balm for the soul. Part of it is the remembering, that piecing back together of a place inside that pleasured us. Part of it is the people, people who have been part of my life for a long time. People I love. People I respect immensely. People who share a passion for life and for the education of women — because they know what it’s made of us. They may not be the warp on which i’ve woven my life, but they certainly are tangled in the strands or perhaps they reinforce it. (ok, i’ll stop, i don’t weave, and I’m sure the metaphor can be stretched only so far!)
I’ve been doing a lot of that this year and I’m going to do more. I was in California where I lived for 13 years. I saw dear friends. I’m going back to Sweden. My friend Soo is going to Alaska this year, visiting places trying to heal from the loss of her husband, places I saw while trying to let go of my sister. She carries me with her, she carries me in her heart, with apologies to monsieur cummings… I went to Wilson. (and after that, I went to the blues festival and saw a woman I adore sing the hell outta those blues! more about that tomorrow)
On the way down to Wilson, I was eager to get there, thinking about who would be there, reveling in the act of going somewhere, stopping along the way for a meal, indulging myself. And getting there, re-immersing myself in the pool of loving affection that is my small class of women and one man and all their loving spouses, was simply luxurious. We knew each other when we were young and passionate and insecure. Perhaps you can’t say of all of us that we know one another well now, but for certain, we recognize one another. We can understand how each woman became who she was today. I have to say that I have both liking and admiration for each. What a treasure is that.
So it was wonderful to touch my roots at a time when my life is unsteady. And then, driving away, it was wonderful to drive home to the life in which I am (re)becoming indigenous — all the more celebrated because I was coming from another place where my life had been so grounded. As I came home, I drove up river to the place that is at one and the same time, source (for it was here I started my education if not my life) and life (for it is here that I have re-rooted after a life of wandering.).
Because I have always been a wanderer, I treasure the journey as well and the sights you see along the way. Ah, my wide and beautiful river set in a broad valley surrounded by rolling green hills… you both settle and excite my heart.
Indeed, it’s lucky I am to have strong roots, great company and a life that yearns toward Peace. It’s lucky to have the Peace road be one of beauty because it’s often arduous. What an amazing world we live in… The being in the midst of it and the getting to where we are going are both sacred prayers for Peace.