A Place Of One’s Own


 
I’ve been thinking about Place a lot – place in the physical sense. But place in the physical sense translates to place in the spiritual sense, I think.

I moved away from the town where I grew up about twenty-five years ago. My mother, on the other hand, has never lived anywhere else. She’s always lived within 5 miles of where she lives now. My mother’s parents and grandparents and great-grandparents are all buried in the town cemetery. My father is buried there.

In contrast to my mother, my father was a first-generation immigrant. He came from Hungary in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution and settled in my mother’s town when her church sponsored him from the immigration camps.

I often wonder if my father ever felt like the town where he lived and raised a family was his town. I wonder if he felt like the town was his place. My mother’s roots go very deep there, but did he eventually feel like he was rooted too? Or was Hungary always his place? His family lived there, died there, was buried there. His roots went very deep there. Did he ever plant himself here? I wish I could ask him.

As for myself, I don’t know. I have deep roots in the town where my mother lives, but it’s not really my place anymore. I’ve never known Hungary, although my roots are deep there as well. I have some ties to the place where I live now, but it still feels as if I’m a visitor in a way. In the back of my mind there’s the faint expectation that I will eventually have to move on. Maybe it’s because I’ve never owned the land I’ve lived on, and so I’ve never had any power or responsibility over what happened to it.

I don’t know if you need to have roots. I don’t know if you need to feel like you belong to one place, and that place belongs to you. I know a lot of you have moved away from the towns where you were born. What do you think? Do you feel as if you’ve planted roots where you are now? Or do you still feel like a visitor? Do we need to be rooted in one place at all? I’m just wondering…

 

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  1. Great Post!

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