Belonging

012 (1024x559)My life, over its span thus far, has weathered significant change.
I know I’m not unique in this, but both as a child and as an adult,
I’ve lived through a number of transitions,
a multitude of moves, two marriages, and many homes.

013 (1024x613)Some people I know have lived in one place throughout their entire existence.
I try to imagine what that’s like:
living in the same town you always have, where you’ve always belonged.

020 (1024x678)Some of my upheavals, both personal and professional,
were unexpected, unplanned, and downright painful.

021 (1024x614)Other transitions were dreamed up, longed for, and finally brought to fruition.
And yet, these changes have pegged me as somewhat of an unknown,
a newcomer who will probably always feel
a little like someone on the outside, looking in.

069 (1024x742)Being an introvert at heart,
this is not as strange a designation for me as you might think.
My “rich inner life” keeps me warm and happy.
I let myself love and experience all the things that mean the most to me.

057 (1024x624)I allow myself to belong in this life I’ve created,
just as everyone belongs to the bigger picture that is the universe,
to bear witness to a journey filled with joy, sorrow, and exquisite beauty.

Perhaps Mary Oliver* said it best:

055 (1024x686)new

*“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver (full poem)

Where do you feel the greatest sense of belonging?
What is “your place in the family of things”?

A special thanks to Kath Unsworth,
who shared the poem on her
 Facebook page
and inspired this post.
 

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43 thoughts on “Belonging

  1. Jennifer, this is just wonderful. I too have moved around much of my life. At times, I envy those who settle and stay. But I’m sure if I had done that, I’d be curious about the moving around! I love that quote–I’ve never heard it so thank you for sharing this. My greatest sense of belonging? With hubby, my pups. Or alone when I’m doing something creative, I think. I don’t notice the time go by.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brigitte. Yes, I have wondered about a life like that too, but ultimately I’m grateful for the variety.

      We seem to share the same love of belonging to our hubbies and pets too. 🙂 And time does fly by when I’m writing anything! xo

      Like

  2. I’ve moved many times in my life. We’ve now been in one place for almost 14 years–a new record. I think having kids has helped that. I had to change schools a lot when I was younger due to moves, so I prefer giving my kids more stability in that regard.

    Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carrie. Like you, I remember being the new kid on the block and in the classroom several times. Very challenging for a shy kid.

      At this point in my life, I’m ready to settle in this spot that feels very much like home. Probably have to move one more time if/when I get really old. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennifer, this post speaks to me in so many ways. I, too, have experienced many moves, some happy and exciting and some painful. I’m going through another one now that could be painful but I’m choosing to make it happy and exciting, or at least happier and more exciting than it might otherwise have been. Lemons and lemonade and all that. Your line, “I allow myself to belong in this life I’ve created” is powerful for me. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes me smile, Marlene, that something I wrote resonated with you. Owning or belonging in the life you create is kind of what it’s all about, isn’t it? And sometimes we forget to give ourselves permission to love our lives and ourselves. Thank you! ❤ I hope whatever change you are experiencing now turns out to be a rewarding one in the long run. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennifer those images and your words are stunning, if I may say so and I bet many of us feel this way. I know I do and am a bit of an introvert in new situations. Mary Oliver was introduced to me by our friend Lea and Mary’s words and poems always impress and amaze me. I think she was in tune with the minuscule moments of life and I have promised myself I will buy some of her books this year. I could look at these images over and over.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Kath. When I read that poem on your fb page, I actually cried, I found it so beautiful and relevant.
      I’ve been in love with Oliver’s poetry for years now, and I find myself interpreting new meanings as time goes on.
      I bet you would like it here on the Point with the birds. One is never lonely with so much life to observe. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How strange that just last night I was talking with a friend and said I wondered what it would have been like to have had one home, in one place, an ever-ready refuge for my children and a familiar and well-loved place for me. Now at 64, with countless moves, it is and was just not in the cards for me. Beautiful and thoughtful post, my dear. All I can offer, is try to live in the day and be happy therein. hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Debi, I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Yes, I’ve often wondered about that and I guess I’m not alone. Seems I’ve struck a chord in a few.
      I’ll be over to visit your blog very soon, I have it bookmarked. Have a nice weekend. 🙂

      Like

  6. I moved too much as I was growing up, but once I got married, we never moved again. So both my children never moved until they went to college. Now they’ve each moved about ten times and long for the stable days.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Like you, I understand the changes made through unexpected events compared to dreams fulfilled, and yet both can be daunting in many ways.
    I LOVE this post. It gave me a deep sense of belonging to myself, which I suppose is the ultimate aim.
    You seem to be very happy and at peace where you are now.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, this one hits home. I left “home” 20-some years ago for a supposed one-year foray and never went back. Left a large family and all the support that comes with it. There are days I miss that dearly and other days I see that I knew I had to go to grow. My favorite lines: “My “rich inner life” keeps me warm and happy.
    I let myself love and experience all the things that mean the most to me.” So wise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diana, most of these photos were taken from our windows and doorway, that’s how close we are to the water.
      I would never have thought of you as an “outsider”. Please don’t take it the wrong way, but is it the city? ❤

      Like

      1. No way. You live so close to such beauty!

        I don’t know why I’ve always felt that way. I have lived in the burbs, in a village, and now in Calgary. I don’t think the place I live has anything to do with it and I’m not depressed about it. It’s just like an observation. I sometimes wonder if I’m a loner, in a way… ❤
        Diana xo

        Like

        1. Being the community-minded citizen that you are, I never would have thought that; you seem to be far more extroverted than I am. Maybe in part it’s because of your single status? It’s a relief to read you aren’t depressed about it, Diana. There are plenty of loners who are perfectly content. ❤

          Btw, I did use a zoom lens for some of the shots! Still close to the water though.

          Jennifer xo

          Like

          1. I am an extrovert Jennifer. ENFP if you are familiar with Myers Brigg. I think being an introvert or extrovert is more about where you get your energy. Both can be shy, both can be great speakers, both can…. 🙂

            You might have something there with the ‘single status’ notion. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful post, Jennifer. I left home and never looked back. Some ups and downs, but that’s what life is all about. No what-ifs for me. The photos are beautiful. I had to go back to read and look at your photos all over again!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful post Jennifer! I too have moved many times … and moving to a new country really opened my eyes to my own self. I think the more we live the more insights we have into an ever changing world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, Val. What countries did you move between? That must have been a major change for you. For all my relocations, they have all been here in Newfoundland, so not much change in the culture side of things. 🙂

      Like

  11. Thank you for the insight! Earlier today I was talking with my husband (my beautiful partner in a second marriage) about belonging, about fitting into various places and groups, or not fitting in. I’ve had much emotion tumbling around in my mind over the last several years about how much divorce can change others’ perceptions of you, making you feel out of place where you’d always been included. It was good to talk, and visiting here tonight and seeing this was calming and added to the sense of peace I found earlier. I feel most at home where I’m loved and can love also, especially with family. As long as I’m in love with this beautiful world, I believe I can feel at home anywhere, at least that’s how I feel when I travel. I’ve always lived in the same city though and have often thought it would be interesting to live other places. I’m sure I would miss this region if I ever do, but I know I could adapt, especially with also possessing warmth and comfort of a “rich inner world” which has always been there for me when I’m not sure of my place in the landscape of the physical world.

    And I love Mary Oliver! ❤ Thanks to you (and Kath Unsworth) for thinking of sharing her poetry. Much beauty to you and to all. The photographs are an inspiration also. ✿

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “As long as I’m in love with this beautiful world, I believe I can feel at home anywhere.” Beautifully put! And so true. I can tell you got everything out of this post that I was hoping to communicate. 🙂 Thank you in return for taking the time to share your lovely comment. ❤

      Like

  12. Thanks for treating us again with the lovely scenery you see from your part of the world, Jennifer. I feel most at home when I’m writing, walking, or reading. Home isn’t a place to me anymore since we left our old neighborhood of 18 yrs. I’ve often wondered what it’s like to stay in one’s home town. But I like having lots of time by myself, which is necessary to enter my creative space. Home is inside me.

    Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Jennifer,

    I’ve been following your blog and this one particularly resonates with me. I have often felt like I’m on the outside looking in. I don’t mind it like I used to. I tell myself I have a perspective on life that, although not unique, is entirely my own and allows me to “belong in this life I’ve created, just as everyone belongs to the bigger picture that is the universe, to bear witness to a journey filled with joy, sorrow, and exquisite beauty.” That was beautifully put, by the way. I think we all feel like this from time-to-time yet forget that we are connected in this way, so being separated from one another (at least in our own minds) actually links us in our experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Wendy.

      Just another instance where we (as people) are more alike than we are different, in this case, the feeling of not quite fitting in brought about by moving around so much. Like you said, I don’t mind it like I used to either. Good thing!

      Thank you so much for following my blog, and thank you for your kind words. 🙂

      Like

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