Guilty as charged

The Rev’d Claire clan gathered at home yesterday.  Not where we live now, home.  The village where we spent all our married life until two years ago.  The village where our children were born and went to school.  The village whose parish church nurtured me through training.  Home.

As we drove the last half hour up the motorway, we were travelling though the landscape of my childhood.  I know every bump of the hills, every lane, I remember what every road looked like before there was a motorway to be crossed. As we drove through it all, I ached with the longing to be home.  Sometimes, landscapes talk.  And this one was shouting “Welcome home”, and whispering “Don’t forget you chose to leave”.  

I watched our children reunited with old friends, OH and I went off to meet some of ours too.  It was a wonderful afternoon of hugs, love, talk, laughter.  But I’m aware that the decision to leave all this behind was mine.  We can never tell what would have happened if decisions had been made differently.  The last two years have been full of joy and learning (and cycling!) for all of us.  We have made new, wonderful friends, and learned that we can cope with a complete change of life.  But going home yesterday was in some respects very hard.  We are visitors now.  There’s no going back.  


2 responses to “Guilty as charged

  1. Sounds good. If I went back to where I was brought up, I wouldn't know anyone. All of my family have migrated out of London, as have most of those I was brought up with.

    Leaving at 17 to join the army was an irrevocable decision. You make your choices and make new lives and new friends.

    During the Army life I lived in 23 different places in four different countries. So, being a traveller became second nature. You got itchy feet after 2 years in one place.

    Eventually, you decide you need roots and settle in one place and separate the family while you travel off to new postings – but the roots we have had now for 24 years are important. Our children and grand children are nearby, as our our circle of friends.

    But we are planning to uproot for one final move next year to be closer to our parish, where we've established a new circle of friends. Only 54 miles from here, but a new start. We've got itchy feet once again.

  2. Thanks for that Ernie. I think my point was rather different. I don't get itchy feet. I left home at 18, but only moved around the Midlands (admittedly often the extremities). My family have been uprooted to travel with me, in a way that none of us expected.
    I can well believe that cities change fast, in their population shifts and their buildings. The places where my roots are change very very slowly, which adds to my sense of dislocation and longing to be home. I still know about 50% of the people living in the village where I was a child.
    I suspect that rural roots are deeper than those in the city, and that people who join the armed forces have roots which need different nourishment than mine do.
    Good luck with your move!

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