Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sense of place

Readjusting to life in Texas after an eastward summer journey presents me with an interesting conundrum. How do I be "me" in a place where I do not feel completely like "me"? This is a question and a state of mind that I have been dealing with for the past month and a half.

In NC, when I am there, deep within my being I feel at ease, at one with the with the surrounding environment, whole. Here in northern TX, I still feel like a visitor even though we're heading into our official second year as residents. It's not that I don't find natural beauty in the prairie or in the amazing sunsets. It's more that I feel all the weight lifted from my shoulders when I am in southern Appalachia and as of yet that hasn't been my experience here.

The challenge I posed to myself for this year is to expand my mind and figure out how to be exactly who I am in an environment that feels foreign. So far, I have actually learned quite a bit about myself.

For instance, once our homeschool co-op started and I began teaching art class, my happiness level rose substantially. In working with kids and creating, I feel at one with myself and I feel connected to a larger community, which is very important to me.
I am making a concerted effort to offer my creativity and skills to causes that I feel connected to, such as providing encouragement to a woman I know who wants to open a homebrew and tea shop as well offering ideas and help in planning a holiday fundraiser for the Denton Community Market.

I am also trying to just enjoy being in this environment that is still new to me and take time to walk in the wilderness and learn new plants. This past week Ian and I walked Frodo early in the morning and became familiar with Snow on the Prairie, a lovely little white flower with alluring sepals, and set our eyes on a lovely purple thistle.

So I hope you will join me this evening in raising a glass and sharing a toast to overcoming obstacles and finding a sense of place. L'chaim.

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