Going To My Own Place

The start of summer signals the season of going places. Summer vacations, summer lessons and summer activities stir our sense of adventure beyond the routine. The adventures that start with summer weddings, summer moves and summer graduations promise new opportunities when we reach our destination.

I adore the discovery of new paths leading to unexplored places. Going anywhere opens my eyes. Going somewhere changes my vision. Except, I am not going anywhere right now. I am not moving or vacationing or starting anything new, even though everyone around me seems to be.

My close friend, on the other hand, is moving across the country. She lived more than 80 miles from me here in Minnesota, but we connected despite the distance. My children and I drove to her home and spent several hours cleaning with her on moving day. Another friend was there who commented that it surprised her that I would “drive so far just to clean a bathroom and clean out a fridge.”

I told her I would go anywhere to help, but I would especially do that for this friend. She and I grew close over the years of an important responsibility we shared, but more than that, our hearts connected one-to-one.

Last year that responsibility ended, and she went on in that place without me. The purpose and passion we shared became just hers. My state of rest, though needed, left my vision and goals without momentum to move forward or a desire to look back. My communication circles shrunk. Loss and loneliness filled my place while she and others continued going. For them, nothing had changed. For me, everything had.

I wish I could say that it eventually was the same again for me and between us. Yet, while shared places bring shared experiences, ultimately, different places bring different experiences. This week, though, we sat together in her empty house, remembering—and feeling—that friendship that still binds us.

As I passed her loaded moving van on my way out, my thoughts did not linger longingly or enviously upon the adventures ahead of her. Ironically, stopping in my own place took me to the place I wanted to go. That inaction, over time, refined me to see every day of the glorious world right around me.

This is an entry in the June Write-Away Contest at Scribbit.


  1. Ryan
    Jun 6, 2008

    Well said. Traveling new paths and “stretching” helps the mind reinvigorate, but there is also something to be said about “being still” and contemplating, maybe a little deeper, on your current and familiar surroundings. Gratitude for the present is often the grease that keeps the wheels of contentment rolling. (I made that up myself. Go me.)

  2. Michelle at Scribbit
    Jun 6, 2008

    Funny thing about life here is that summer means playing outdoors but we don’t go anywhere out of state. Ever. If you can make it through winter why would you want to leave and miss the good part? 🙂

  3. Carrie Jensen
    Jun 11, 2008

    Thank you for that very real expression of emotion.

  4. Lei
    Jun 20, 2008

    This was really lovely TJ!

  5. Daisy
    Jul 1, 2008

    Moving is bittersweet, even when we’re not the people doing the move. Lovely story!

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