Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Great Falls, VA: I've Been Here How Long?
The farm across the street has unbelievably large, grassy fields used for nothing more than to impress upon passers-by that green spaces still exist. The white farmhouse sits far back from the road; across it rests an old barn that might or might not be filled with treasures from the farm's previous life. My eyes glance at the six, maybe seven, beautiful green acres, nicely flat with a few trees here and there. That farm was for sale; it just sold, and the developer's sign boasts a whole new smattering of large mansions on this now-green spot. I'm disappointed.
I've lived in Great Falls for six years. I've lived here long enough to know well what the landscape looks like in every season, not just glorious Spring. I know where Beach Mill and Walker Road get washed out when it rains cats and dogs--and how, after an hour after the rain stops, Beach Mill should be passable, but Walker will need more time. I've seen little old houses and the stories that went with them reduced to rubble in a few hours. I've watched how grand, new spaces--three, four times the size of the previous house--stand impressively and impossibly tall on that same site within months.
As the daughter of a Soldier, as a girl who happily moved from one state to the next every two to three years, as the young woman who traveled across Asia for a few years out of college, six years in one house, in one town feels like forever.
Journeys were part of my life, first by necessity, and then by choice. I soaked in a few years each in Savannah, Schofield Barracks, Seattle. I spent months in shocking Calcutta, weeks in the high Himalayas, and days in a smattering of exotic, amazing Indian cities. I spent a few years in Thailand--my official role was teaching teachers, but I think I logged more hours reading books and journaling about the past, present, and future than actually teaching.
And now, I am here. I'm still here. I've not moved. And, after a particularly restless two years, I'm trying to breathe deeply and settle into my life here as gracefully as I can (which means not very gracefully). I'm beginning to realize how much there is to learn about myself when I am still. This is not a comfortable sort of lesson-learning--I much prefer the known excitement of movement. When still, when faced with a beautiful but not spontaneous routine with three joyful but demanding children and one loyal but complicated husband, I actually face myself in a way I never have before.
Please forgive the fact that postcards from here are less glorious.