My husband and I have made some relatively significant transitions in our young lives thus far. Apparently I had a secret yearning to live the life of an Army brat - though my parents are teachers - considering that I have moved all over the country since leaving home after high school. First came Boston, then Moscow, Idaho, then Austin, Texas. I feel fortunate to have sampled so many diverse regions of our great country; I have rubbed elbows with cowboys and cowgirls, Mormons, Mass-holes, hippies, and yuppies. From the East Coast to the Third Coast, I have become well-versed in moving my life around and making big transitions.
What does it mean to move? To migrate? To transition? I have found that it has most often refreshed my spirit and forced my eyes to see new things I may have missed before - about life, people, my country, etc. Any notion of a schedule goes out the window for those days/weeks/months during which you make the transition. It is also a perfect way to break down any semblance of a comfort zone one may have instituted during a settled period.
Likewise, in migrating, I have met many migratory people. These people, including myself I'm sure, seem to view life from a wide-open perspective, allowing people into their lives with ease knowing that to make the time in a certain location memorable, you must "love the one you're with," so to speak. My migrant friends also seem to be very good at staying in touch, perhaps more than my more settled friends do. We are invited to each others' weddings, send each other Holiday cards, and make the occasion phone call just to talk. Oftentimes, I end up speaking with a far-away pal more frequently than one who lives just down the road.
What is an aspect of moving that I am not so fond of? Potential for years of something best expressed in Portuguese: saudade, an amalgamation of longing, nostalgia, homesickness, yearning, particularly in regards to a place one may never return to. I knew that I would return to my roots from time to time, for visits and vacations, but would this place always linger in my heart in such a way? Would I ever be successful in moving back for good? And would it be all that I had hoped an dreamed it would be? For there is a certain romance and mystique surrounding a place for which one might experience saudade. I feared that I might return to this place and find myself wanting to leave again, forever searching, longing, and migrating.
So far, my transition home to Mercersburg, PA, to this place I have longed for, though I cannot always explain why, seems more resolute than others, especially now that we are moved into the farmhouse. It is a rental house, but a house nonetheless, one where we could grow a family, live below our means, and save for the future. There is much promise in this house. Whether my Army brat tendencies will start to itch, only time will tell. For now, I just want to be here, sit in this quiet, spacious house as the world spins around me, walk along horse pastures and watch deer as they watch me, unblinking - let my late 20s be a time to contemplate migrations of the past and the stillness of today.