Over the past year or more, especially over the past few months, I have thought deeply about life and purpose and place . . .
Growing up in a military family and moving and living all over the country, I know the reality of being able to find both good and bad, beauty and ugliness, a sense of belonging and loneliness, purpose and drifting in every place I've lived.
Often in my life, I had no choice about where I wanted to live or even how I wanted to live . . . I learned to adapt to different living situations out of necessity . . .
and I determined that when I had my own family, I would provide ONE place where my kids could grow and learn and belong . . . and get a sense of community that I never had . . . maybe something like the aura portrayed by "THE WALTONS" television show.
Imagine my surprise when after schooling and job searches each of my children ended up in a different part of the country!
My sense of purpose changed dramatically when they left. I still had a job and horses and friends there . . . but chose to leave for warmer climes and to follow a dream. Thereafter followed the happiest years of my life (so far) . . .
Due to circumstances beyond my control, my dream and sense of purpose was radically altered three years ago . . . and . . . I find myself, again, at a place in the journey where I can choose to move or stay, thus, my renewed focus on the value "PLACE" plays in our lives . . . and the value of "RELATIONSHIPS" . . .
A visitor asked me recently said, "Why would you want to move? You have a lovely home here and you've done so much work on the property."
and my instant heart-response was, "I know . . . but it's just a place . . . " and I know in my heart that without a sense of fulfillment of purpose and relationships, that a place is just that . . .
and places are for LIVING . . .
they are like skeletons without the flesh . . .
frames without the pictures . . .
A Place is not Life. It's merely a setting provided for life to happen . . . and, for me, Life is about relationships, and learning and sharing and working and growing with people who share a similar purpose and philosophy . . .
Thus, I find myself at a point of choosing . . . to stay and wait and work and hope for the people and purpose to materialize, or to leave and move forward seeking and hoping . . . either way, I need to be in an environment that will provide the elements of purpose that come from working with horses and with people who have a similar passion for teaching and learning about life and horses . . . .
What do you think?
What is required for any of us to have that sense of belonging? What is it that draws our hearts to certain places? Poignant memories? Hopes for fulfilling employment? Dreams of possible relationships?
What gives us our sense of place?