WORDPRESS DAILY PROMPT JULY 7, 2013:
THE NOMADIC LIFE?
The July 7, 2003, wordPress daily prompt was If you could live a nomadic life, would you? Where would you go? How would you decide? What would life be like without a “home base?”
Since becoming a freelance photojournalist and eclectic writer I’ve desired to write a piece comparing the lives of a person who is in their 70s or 80s and never moved from the house they were born in with a person who lives a nomadic life.
- Here I must note that I’ve lived the latter life, the life of a nomad. I’ve lived in a total of 18 different homes in ten different communities. I’ve lived in a city that reached a two million population landmark and a rural home in the middle of well over 75 acres.
By the time I moved into our ninth community I felt like I had been uprooted so many times that I considered myself living on Mars (I always thought it would be fun to live in Mars, Pennsylvania, not far from several locations where I’ve lived, so I could confirm I lived on Mars soil).
Being a nomad has its advantages—meeting new people, experiencing different community cultures and decorating different style homes…but it is also a roller-coaster life—I moved to each community a stranger, made friends, became involved, and then picked up and moved to another community where I started the cycle over again.
- So where is the little acre I consider home? Where is the land I feel connected to?
You can’t go back again.
My husband and I had planned on retiring in Slippery Rock where we had a beautiful home, designed and built by ourselves for our lifestyle, on top of a hill surrounded by a field, some woods, and a stream that supplies fresh water. The large windows of our hexagon shaped great room looked west, providing us with wonderful sunset views. The wistful sound of an occasional train added a note of nostalgia.
We had many friends and connections in this community when we left. Within three months of our leaving—actually, on my birthday—one of my friends received fatal injuries in a car accident. Over the years our friends retired and moved away, or went to meet their maker. By the time my husband retired the community held few of our original contacts.
Because retiring in Slippery Rock would separate us from family, we made a painful decision to not return to our home and to retire near one of our two children. It was best to retire near our daughter, two hours south of Slippery Rock.
- I didn’t choose the nomadic lifestyle. It just happened.
And as for a home base, I don’t have one. I have nowhere I consider my “home base.” In some ways this is freeing, but it detracts from a feeling of connectedness.
I’ve been adapting to a stable lifestyle with roots. It helps that I surprisingly discovered I am descended from two original Westmoreland County land grant families—the Rughs and the Mechlings.
- Would I have originally chosen to lead a nomadic lifestyle?
I really don’t know.
What I do know is that there are different challenges in this lifestyle, mostly in the relationship context. If I enter a situation where there could be “bad blood” I know I must deal with it because we aren’t going to move elsewhere anytime soon.