The roots of a tree keep it standing firmly. Rains and winds buffet against it and yet it stands firm. The roots go deep down into the ground and, not only hold it firmly in place, but also nourish it with life-giving water.
Having strong roots, a firm foundation, in one’s life is important. It keeps one grounded; and sure in the knowledge of one’s beliefs and morals when buffeted by the experiences of society. When thinking of personal roots, one often thinks of family background, of history, of where one’s family has originated. But in our modern society I tend to think that our roots are more than that.
Both my parents left the country of their birth. I was brought up in a land that they came to love, but a land n which their parents and siblings had no roots. They had been uprooted (one through his own choice, another because of the choices made by her father). My husband and I have done the same. We have uprooted ourselves from the country of my birth (and that of our children), to plant ourselves in the earth found on the other side of the world.
Does growing up in a different country mean that my children have no roots? They may not have the stability that comes from seeing their extended family often; or the knowledge gained from growing up in the same environment that I did. But the roots that secure them are the ones made from love; and the ones that are forming as they become integrated into the Canadian society. They learn by word of mouth the history and family background of both me and my husband; and have taken the journey with us to visit some of the physical places of their roots.
But their strength and stability comes from the place where they are now; and from the knowledge they have that they are loved for who they are in the present and not for where their ancestors were born.
Have the roots of your family been firmly planted for generations? Or have you also experienced replanting in another country?
(Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s prompt is: Roots)