Thursday, December 8, 2016

IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS (ON BELONGING)

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Every fall, right around when the leaves begin to change. I take a trip west with my family to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. We do this several times a year but there's something about this trip that feels extra special, it feels like coming home. Those mountains are in my blood, so maybe that's why I feel a sense of belonging there.




Merriam Webster defines this type of belonging as a close or intimate relationship, having familiarity or an inseparability. Where we come from cannot be separated from the person that we are. It's always with us, even as we're running away from it.

"The hardest step she ever took was to blindly trust in who she was." -Atticus

A huge part of existence is centered around belonging. Where are our places? Who are our people? What do we have to give to this world that makes us belong?




It's interesting that the place I get this home sense from isn't actually where I grew up. The mountains were always a break from back home. It's where I could be a carefree child swimming in creeks. It was family reunions, picnics, and hiking. As I became older it was more about the landscape, the vistas and the waterfalls, the stunning colors of autumn. Also the people, it's always been the people. 4th of July with the family in the park and my grandparents' stories of their childhood here, that's what makes me belong.




Belonging is where you feel at peace, where you can show up exactly as you are and that's okay. These are our people. These are our places. Peace.




The mountains are my peace.

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