Monday, March 14, 2011

Wandering Toe

Growing up, my father often told me that his family line frequently manifests a "wandering toe." We have a hard time staying in any one place for a great length of time; we're always looking to the next horizon, wondering what's over the next hill.

We have a long tradition of migrating ever further west, first across the Atlantic, then to Tennessee, and on westward to Kansas, Nevada, California, etc.

More recently, my Grandpa Norman, my dad's dad, worked with a surveyor's team in Kansas and Oklahoma back in the 50's. The majority of the oil wells throughout this area were originally surveyed by my Grandpa Norman. Dad attended over twenty elementary schools as a result, before they finally settled out in California when Dad was in high school.

After Dad graduated from high school, he spent the next thirteen years or so wandering from one machine shop to the next, while his eldest brother went into the navy and off to see the world. When I myself graduated from high school, I headed into theatre, which meant that every six months or so I moved to some place new. Even when I was in college, I was doing summerstock.

Last week it hit me that I was still in one place. My eyes kept drifting to the horizon, my mind wondering what was out there and where we should go next. Texas? Arizona? Washington?

This is not to imply that I'm unhappy where I am--I love living in this small town, close to friends and family. As much as I may complain sometimes, I love this cute little house and the garden we've planted in the back. I love making this house a home and taking care of Sam. This is, quite frankly, the happiest I've ever been.

And, eventually, the itch passed. By the time Sam and I collapsed into bed Saturday after doing our planting, my energies were focused back on the here and now, and the restlessness from the previous week was gone.

I think Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz got it right:
"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!"

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