ROOTED – my word for 2016

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In a year in which I will spend three months overseas in a very foreign culture, then return back to my little nest of a cottage only to begin packing it to move elsewhere overseas…in which I rejoin a husband I haven’t seen in five months….change up my solopreneurship into new offerings and directions….boot up my daughter’s unschooling enrichment…and lose the friends and connections I’ve spent the last two years making, doesn’t the word ‘ROOTED’ seem either ironic or desperate?

It’s just that after two separate stints living abroad, thirteen years in total, one of those with a young child, part of the time on my own…after seven different apartments and three different houses…. I’ve been so tired of moving about, of not being able to settle, to ever unpack every single box, of having books on shelves and setting out my collections on display…it seems that every few years I’ve been uprooted, and every time I have lost things in the process.  And here we go again.

Yet…when I expressed this sentiment plaintively to an almost-complete stranger, she looked at me thoughtfully for a moment, then said quietly as she poured me another cup of her hand-harvested herbal tea, “It sounds as though you might need to develop…inner roots.”

And those last two words hit me – literally made me gasp and wince as if someone had thrown a pillow at my stomach – struck and sank in.  I let them sit for a few days and found they were joined inside my skull by the scriptural injunction to be ‘rooted and grounded in love’.  And a few days after that, playing casually with an oracle card app (which deck, sadly, I do not know) online, a card turned up for me that told me I had a ‘physical desire to be grounded…to sprout roots…’.  Well, I listen to these sorts of Sophia-Wisdom prompts from the Holy Spirit (because otherwise she tends to use something a little more emphatic than a pillow), so I wrote it down.  And because I’m a visual person (in the same way that a tree is wood, which is to say, I don’t have a choice in the matter), I made it into an image.

And then roots started showing up on my facebook feed, pictures from acquaintances who routinely share lovely pictures, quite without intent or tagging.  And my custom-blended herb tea showed up from the not-quite-so-much-a-stranger, with, what else, roots in it.  Dandelion and burdock root.  Nettle, lemon balm and mint.  It helped me balance, ground, mellow.

And as I started to prep, to pack, to winter-clean and simplify my nest, to release in the way a tree releases her no-longer-necessary leaves, I began to realize:  Being rooted is not about one’s environment, circumstances, or situation.

If home is where the heart is, then surely to be with my husband is home, not this small cottage – no matter how painstakingly and lovingly decorated, how many personal bits of me there are in it. I can take the beauty I need to have in my surroundings with me; I can create it again wherever I am.  If I have invested in friends here, I will not lose them, and I can invest and receive again.  If I can weather storms and tears with the root system I already have, then the sun and the wind will only make it stronger.   So – feeding and growing those inner roots is my 2016 promise to myself.   Let’s see what fruit it bears!

Rooted - 2016 Word of the Year JPG

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One response »

  1. Wishing you all the best in the next year with all the adventures and memory making you can pack into to. You may not be able to physically take some of your precious things with you, but there is always a way. Take a picture of them and either journal around them or scrapbook them. Then you can always have a bit of them wherever live takes you.

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