Tuesday, May 16, 2023

“Roots” and “Home”

Since we moved to Washington State full-time almost two years ago, I have been thinking about the difference between ROOTS and HOME. I believe this could be answered in different ways by different people, but for me, this is it:

My ROOTS are “where I am from” - and the term “roots” carries with it a depth of meaning. 

My ROOTS are in Missouri. I spent most of my 75 years (so far) there (with time away for hubby’s military locations during his three years in the USMC).

I love my ROOTS. I love Missouri. It’s a great place to live and raise a family, especially in the rural areas, which is where we always lived. 

I love the four seasons as they occur in Missouri. I even love the heat, because it is part of what defines Missouri. 

I love the wildlife and the trees and the crop farms and the cattle farms. I love the state parks and the caves and the springs and the country roads. 

I love the thunderstorms and the fact that when it “comes a rain,” I can know that it is going to be over soon and there will be sunny skies afterward (not to be confused with the months of rainy weather in Washington).

In Missouri, things just “seem to make sense” (quoting my daughter-in-law, who also has Missouri roots).

I could write a book about my roots.

When I was first married, my husband and I spoke of “home” when we were talking about our parents’ homes. When we were newlyweds and in college, for example, we would say “We are going home for the weekend.” We meant we are going to our parents’ homes, where we each grew up and lived until our marriage.

For some people, the place of their ROOTS is also the place of their HOME. They live where they always lived, likely where their parents lived and maybe their ancestors before that. So there may not be a clear differentiation between roots and home. 

But, for me, now when I speak of HOME, I am talking about where I live…where my life is…where a large part of my family is…where the setting may sometimes feel “foreign” because I’m not “from here” (my roots are not here), but it’s still HOME because it’s where my life is right now. And that is by choice. 

We really do miss Missouri, but we choose to live where there are now 10 of our immediate family (Hubby, me, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, grandson, granddaughter-in-law, three great grandchildren) who are in our home most every Sunday for dinner, after church (where our son is Pastor and our grandson is Pastor of Worship and Discipleship).

I know the saying is “Home is where the heart is.” And that’s true. Clearly, as I have described it, I love my ROOTS, and I love my HOME. But my heart is where I live, so, yes, my HOME is where my heart is, and that’s in Washington State right now. 

My roots and my home are 32 driving hours apart. And that’s okay. This is where God has placed me for now.

My art sometimes reflects my roots and sometimes my home. I just painted a blue jay. We do not have blue jays in Washington state, but we had a lot of them in Missouri. They would always disrupt the peaceful environment of our bird feeders when they visited, scaring away all the birds who play nice (not to be confused with the blue jays, who were bossy). But I do miss them, because I associate them with my ROOTS. 

They are fun to paint because they are so colorful.

This blue jay was painted with direction from a tutorial by Louise de Masi.

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