I have moved six times in my life if I start counting after finishing my first graduate school: from South Carolina to Washington, DC when Nancy Hanks was growing support of the Arts across the US. It was a Renaissance for the Arts in America. Then from DC to Toronto, Ontario where I worked in a professional theatre for children for almost four years. I have a distinct image in my head driving with my close friend, Jeecy, on our drive from DC to Toronto, when suddenly, the huge Toronto skyline appeared in our view. We had crossed the border above Buffalo running along the Niagara Peninsula and drove on the QEW (their main freeway from that border). It was a wide road with maybe six lanes going each way and more lanes as we neared Toronto. Everything was big. We drove next to shipping trucks with so many cars, all speeding along at 70 kilometers per hour. Downtown Toronto had beautiful bank buildings in the early 70s. It now has a needle like Seattle and many other architectural wonders in its skyline by famous architects like Eb Zeidler and I. M. Pei leaving monuments for history to study. I loved Canada.
I learned how to create a new life in Toronto. Sink or swim! Have you done that, too?
Move three: I moved back to the US to New York City and that drive was momentous as I pulled a six-foot trailer behind my car for almost 10 hours, by myself. Why not, I thought, at age 27? I later discovered all four glass rimmed tires broke on that trip! I married a Canadian while in New York, and we moved to Arizona in the early 80s (move four!) We used a moving company. I stepped up in my moving.
Arizona is a wonder in itself. The desert is beautiful and the colored sunsets that you see in photos are actually those colors. Brilliant reds, pinks, blues, yellows, umbers, chestnuts. I felt most at home in this state I grew to call my own. I lived there longer than any other move, 34 years.
I moved back to South Carolina to create an adventure, be with my family. And that is what I did. Move five was full of family, siblings, aunts, uncles, my mother, cousins from all over the South. It was a good time until Covid. Then I realized I wanted to be closer to my children who had stayed in the West. So, move six was to Austin, Texas where I am living grandparenthood and traveling to see my daughter in California. I am on the edge of the West I love so much. So far, this is another good move.
I know I have more moves in my life. Moves bring unknowns and challenges. For me, they bring adventure, inviting me to meet new people, create a new life. After all, our lives are up to us.
Have you ever counted your moves? Perhaps you have lived in one city your entire life finding joy and happiness where you are planted. If in one city, have you moved within your city from one location to another? Or, as can happen in Charleston, have you moved into a family home and brought up your children where you grew up, hoping one of your children will take over the house when they are ready?
Any move pushes us into a transition. If we are cleaning out a parent’s home of many years or helping a child move for the 5th or 6th time, moves are very personal. Every time I open another box, I recognize Rikke’s beautiful packing job, whose strong packing hands often gave me the courage to move.
We are fortunate in the United States to be free to move about. We can start fresh somewhere and create a new life for ourselves. Or join another person’s life and create what we want with that person.
Many are choosing to live wild, out in Nature and on city streets – something our culture and economy have created in the last 50 years.
This morning as I was meditating early on, I thought of the richness of my moves, the true difficulties I have had in each place and what each move gave me as a person. I am flexible in my life. I can be the last person invited to a gathering and pleased to go or called at 9 PM in the summer to go for ice cream.
Or find I have an entire day to myself and relish in that peace. I realize that each day I have depends on my own actions and what I would like to do.
Moving about each day is a privilege, and moving to another city is also a privilege. Moving from house to house, or city to city; moving to vacation homes or taking trips for a month; even moving one’s tent from one side of the road to another is a freedom; moving as humans is a gift to us. We are still part of the hunter gatherers of the world, not in one place as are farmers. Many of us have farming family history and also choose to move around; so, we imbue both types of humans. If you are inclined to change your life and seek new adventures, I recommend moving. It changes your daily schedule! For the moment, I am settled. And I look forward to move seven whenever it comes!