Monday, September 15, 2008

::Her Roots::

When I began this blog I named it "Roots." I did so because, at the blog's conception, I was on the precipice of a big move. One that has since transplanted me from a life lived in the city, to an entirely new one in the country. Upon being asked about the transition, I have heard myself say; "I have come to believe that I can live just about anywhere." I say this with a conviction based, not on extensive experience, but on the-- if somewhat deluded-- sense of myself that feels I can make home anywhere.

I once created a cozy hideout in the basement of our childhood home. When I say basement, I mean the creepy, dank, cellar-type of basement. A basement even our dog avoided. I was content to nest there one summer with piles or Archie comics and my imagination. Home. I used to jog along the Ottawa river. On my way home I would climb up onto the railroad tracks, do my stretches, and curl up in the crook of two iron trusses. On several occasions, I fell fast asleep there; iron and sky above, rushing river below. Home. When I first set foot inside 63 B Havelock, there were open-faced newspapers covering the entire surface of the apartment floor. Why? For two ratty dogs to defecate on, or, as we later found out, to place over top of piles of defecation the current residents had no intention of dealing with. I saw past the waist-high piles of junk, the smear marks on all the walls, the smell of stale cigarettes in the paint. And I saw home.

It's a frame of mind, isn't it? Sometimes you have a choice in where we live. Sometimes you don't. But you have to build a life wherever you end up. Best to just embrace the soil upon which your feet are standing and send out as many roots as our heart, soul and mind can muster the energy to produce. Yes, in a sense, we root-growers must have a high pain tolerance. Tearing loose a whole network of established life-lines hurts. But the healing comes quickly in the re-growth. And there will be re-growth. In Christ, there is no barren soil upon which to build our lives. Tap into him; tap into sustenance that reaches to even the darkest corners of the globe.

I find resonance, and wisdom, in the writings of a girl in Liberia, busy growing roots of her own: