If I could live anywhere I would without hesitation pick Greenwood, Virginia or at least somewhere in Albemarle County. Why? Well that's simple, it's home and always has been. It's in my blood, it's where I was raised and it's where previous family generations also were raised and lived. My best friend (also from Greenwood) said today, "you ARE Greenwood."
Greenwood is perfection. It's a small dot on a map in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are no stoplights. There are farms, beautiful farms. There are friendly people who know your name and who wave at you when they pass in their cars. There are breathtaking views as far as the eye can see. If anywhere deserved the title of "God's Country" it would be Greenwood.
Maybe you can relate and maybe you can't but it's safe to say that I was born pretty damn lucky. Since my birth, my parents have lived in two homes, both happen to be in Greenwood. Needless to say, I've always had a since of place. I have a bond with the land that raised me. As I grew and spread my wings I lived in lots of different and diverse areas. I loved exploring and learning about life in new, exciting locations. I think I was able to do this because I knew wherever my journeys took me, Greenwood would always be there to welcome me back with open arms. I literally feel a physical change come over me when I turn onto Greenwood Station Road, maybe it's the beautiful scenery, maybe it's the wonderful memories, maybe it's all of that combined. I can't help but smile and Pippin who is a superb and mostly silent co-pilot begins to whine uncontrollably with anticipation, because she knows we're almost home.
So, why am I sharing with you about my deep love for Greenwood? Because tonight, I'm feeling overwhelmingly sentimental. This weekend I spent packing at my parents home, the one that I moved to when I was nine. No big deal. They have spent the past year (maybe more) planning and building their dream home. Wonderful, right? Yes, it is wonderful and I am beyond thrilled for them. So what's the problem? The dream home isn't in Greenwood. It's actually nowhere near Greenwood.
All of a sudden, as they wrap things up at their current home, in preparation for their move, I am struck with a since of grief. Yes, grief. Not for the home that they are leaving, although it is a special place. Grief, because I realize that the place that has been home my entire life and my family's before me, is about to be Peyton-less. Besides very dear friends, countless memories, and a dream to one day return, Greenwood is no longer home. It's not the house or the things, its the land, it's the feeling I get when I'm there, it's the pride of where I am from, it's all those things and more that have me reeling with the impending change.
But I love change, what has gotten into me? I've always been such a cool cucumber but this one has sent me for a loop. I'm a cancer and if you know anything about my kind our homes/nests/shells are pretty important to us. I suppose that is contributing to my feelings.
As I left my parents this afternoon, maybe for the last time, I was overcome with emotion. I feel uprooted and sad that my ties to that beautiful area are almost just a memory. At the same time, I think that it is helping me to realize that I should more fully embrace the life that I am building here, in my new home.
We have almost lived here for four years and I feel like, at best, I've only been giving it half of an effort. This is it, this is my life. Why am I wasting it away wishing I was somewhere else? That's absolutely absurd and I'm only just realizing this all to be true. We moved here for my husbands job and I always looked at his position as temporary. Last time I checked, four years isn't temporary. He has a wonderful job that he loves and is extremely good at. Why on earth have I not allowed myself to settle in here?
Now that beautiful Greenwood is in the rearview but forever in my heart, I realize that it is the roots that I have from the place that nurtured and raised me that will help to set me free, wings, if you will, to more fully live in the present and to be so grateful for the time that I do have, no matter where it may be.