The moving truck in front of our home in Saskatoon was full to the brim. In there, somewhere, was my bed, my clothes, and my little collection of precious Hot-wheels toys. But the enduring picture for me was of our couch, stood upright, at the very back of the moving van as they closed the big sliding door. My whole world, as I knew it, was packed up. I was in Kindergarten and we were moving to Regina, a city so far away it seemed unfathomable that I could live there.
Moving from one home to another, or one city to another is a pivotal experience in anyone’s life. While some have never moved far, the statistics say that Canadians will move about five or six times in their life on average, and in 2011 four million Canadians moved that year alone.
The reasons we move vary. In some cases we move because we have to, our hand is forced and change is inevitable. Job loss, divorce, death, or other hard circumstances force us to pack up and change where we live. Others move because something better presents itself. A new job, marriage, or retirement will open new doors or possibilities. Moving can be exciting and full of expectation.
Sometimes we long for change or the feelings that a new setting will bring. Boredom or sadness here might be alleviated if we only lived somewhere over there. A new home, new neighbours, and new experiences are tempting and inviting. A move gives a break and we have the chance to shape a new life. However for all the allure of a new life somewhere else, there is something we cannot move away from – ourselves. In any move, we are really learning to come to peace with ourselves and those we love.
There are ways to move well, and much of it starts by looking inside, into our motives, fears, hopes and dreams. When we move under duress, we do not often have time to think through how we feel or talk to someone else. When we move because we hope to run from our pain or anxieties without being reflective, we may just bring all of those fears and pains with us. When we stop to ask ourselves and others what our true motives are for moving, we can make the very best choices for ourselves and others. Moving that began as a reaction and rush to get away from something, can transform into a meaningful move towards something. When our motives are healthy, our big move, or decision to stay, can also become healthy.
In your neighbourhood there are people moving in and moving away. Each of those moves carry emotions of hope and pain, of loss and life. We can work together to welcome those who come from afar and help them find a place of hope and safety in our city. Chestermere is a city that longs to be hospitable to anyone who moves here. Likewise, if someone is moving away, we can be the kind of people who send them off well, with a party and plenty of love. In a world that is always moving, we can be the kind of community that creates a true home.