(The final post in a six part series about our time in the country)
I feel like a child and I feel like I’m home. I feel like I belong.
As much as anyone can feel they belong in a town that isn’t truly theirs.
I suppose I don’t actually belong in the traditional sense in that I wasn’t born here and worse yet – having moved here and put down some roots – we abruptly left to answer other callings.
And yet, I do feel a sense of having belonged.
I didn’t expect to be accepted here, and in some circles I guess I never was. But this is a friendly town, by and large. One got the feeling when we lived here that, as long as we were friendly ourselves and willing to be a part of things in some way, there was always a place for us, for which we were very grateful.
Indeed, more than just accept me, this town grew me; I can see it now.
It’s people taught me rather a lot about patience, openness, acceptance; slowing down just to be and share life together. Not because these people are my particular tribe, chosen by the degree to which we have things in common. No, simply because they are my fellow human beings and we did community and life together.
No, the relationships were not the same as friendships of pure choice in which you are very much on the same page for most things – but that’s the point. These relationships were different – wholesome, nourishing and somehow, deeply good – hard but good.
My connection to this place and its people is now sorely severed and the fact that my heart aches so is a testimony to how deeply my roots went in such a short space of time.
Even now it hurts to look back on what we had.
But I am counting my blessings; that we ever got to live and work and play and belong in this town. And I will treasure that in my heart always.