This Pennsylvania girl said I’d follow my military man anywhere. There wasn’t a place I didn’t think I could live. Then we moved to North Carolina and Virginia and I told him I could no longer go North. We had moved south of the Mason Dixon line and he’d have to carry me kicking and screaming to get me back across that invisible line (one word: winter).
Then we loved and lived life in three different Countries and we left pieces of our hearts in each one. Our children’s growth marked black on the bathroom wall, painted over fresh for the next family. That curry plant I loved so much, mowed over days after we left.
And the Navy drops us in this place where we finally have family, and we settle in so deep and permanently. And I narrow the window of what I think I can do and where I can live. Because roots run wildly deep and I’d forgotten all I missed with family close by.
But this time of year reminds me that what and where I am living is temporary. Because it is moving season and our family’s identity is wrapped up in this life we call the Navy.
Each year as the world rises from the deep slumber of winter, bursting overnight with fragrance and color; when the evening sun begins to stretch days long before settling down for the night, the moving trucks invade.
And I am pulled back to my military identity and remember that, in the not so distant future, that truck may be pulling up to my home to empty and fill with another family’s belongings.
Because when the military tells us it is time, we pack up our homes, our memories, our hearts and head in a new direction. Again!!!! And as we pack, we decide what things need to be left behind….like those favored candles that can’t make the trip, and the spices that we are suppose to throw out, and that grill that is just heavy enough to send our weight allowance over the edge.
These small letting-go-of’s prick us deep because it is not just about the candles and spices and things; but because we are leaving chunks of a life lived wholeheartedly in this place.
Because there is no other way to live but ALL IN.
So if that moving truck has pulled up in front of your home and you are one that is just not ready, know that you can do it. You can dig up and replant. You can let go and still take with you a piece of what you had.
Because living ALL IN is not just about the letting go of, but also the reward you have when you plant both feet firmly on the new soil you call home.
Dig in deep and plant strong roots; live loudly and engage community; make best friends, plant wild flowers and paint walls bright colors.
Your friendships will be richer, your days brighter, and your heartbeat stronger when you live life ALL IN.