|Mountains outside Raton, NM|
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Standing Still: A Journey
A few days ago I read that it’s cheap to buy land and houses in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Ireland—all the European countries in deep financial trouble. My immediate thought (the moving dis-ease is still operating) was, I could move to Ireland. It’s beautiful, they speak English, they value artists and writers, it’s cheap, I'd be a hop away from Denmark, and I wouldn’t be adding to their unemployment problems. A couple of days later, my neighbor mentioned that her small, New Mexico hometown of Raton is dying because it has lost most of its industry. Dying? Housing would probably be cheap. I love small-town living. Raton is in a beautiful location, just south of the Colorado border, on the eastern slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and above the great, high llano. I could move to Raton. Yes, I still experience a lack of ease when standing still.
A while back, I taught the counseling portion of an herbalist-training program. My course took six weeks, and I enjoyed it tremendously. Near the end of our sessions, one of the students injected an unexpected compliment, “You know, Anna, you are rock-solid.” I thought, If you only knew. At that point I had probably only moved 59 times. How could I be in near constant motion and also be rock solid? I decided it meant that while I was moving outwardly, perhaps I possessed a solid, inner core. That must have been what I projected then, because I certainly didn’t feel that way most of the time.
Moving house, moving neighborhood, moving city, moving country—all of these require extra energy, planning, and money. Often it’s the little things like curtain rods and missing toilet paper holders that add up and that you don’t think about when you calculate moving expenses. Every time I’ve moved, I’ve added to the Earth’s carbon footprint, of course. And as I settled in, I always found things that needed to be fixed or changed. I had to form new relationships. All that required more energy, time and/or money. Despite all these drawbacks, there was something exciting, energizing even, about times of transition—when everything, including, my mind and feelings, were in motion, when something new was anticipated.