I had the opportunity this week to write a guest post on The Abbey of the Arts blog, curated by one of my favorite authors. The following is an excerpt, but you can read the whole post here. I am a millennial. I am of a generation of transplants: leaving our homes at eighteen, many of us never return outside of holidays and vacations. We are like succulent plants – able to be snapped off and replanted again and again, multiplying and spreading wide. We are adaptable, versatile and flexible, but I long for deep roots.
I am a monk on the move.
For the last eight and a half years, my husband and I have lived in California, 2,071 miles away from our family in the Midwest. Practically, that means we travel often and have frequent visitors. We want our two-year-old son to have deep relationships with his extended family. We want him to be friends with his grandparents. We want them to have the privilege of watching him grow. So, in this season, that means we travel several times a year, and we have visitors every month.
A friend of mine asked me last fall what gets in the way of my time with God – my time of stillness, of reading and reflection and art and prayer, my time of cultivating deep soul-roots. I answered immediately, “Interruptions in my regular rhythm of life.” I have daily and weekly rhythms of solitude that ground me in God’s love for me, but each time we have a visitor or go out of town I give up those practices in an effort to be fully present in the moments with our family, not wanting to miss anything. Yet, in my attempt to soak in every moment, I am giving up the moments that make me me. When I am unmoored from my rootedness I don’t bring my best self, my whole self, to my days.
I am coming to grips with the fact that my life will never be “stable” – change comes, expectedly or unexpectedly, and I cannot control that. My life will never be stable, but I can always be rooted.