A couple of years back, when my husband was living in the States, he helped to cut off a large tree in someone’s backyard and to dig out it’s roots. It was hard work that lasted for days.
The pictures he took of this ordeal keep coming back to me these days, like silent companions on our way from one place to another with our family of four. Tomorrow, we will finally receive the keys to our new place in a house which we built with 8 other families in a park in the middle of our city.
Like that tree, which, I imagine, persisted for a while, parts of me resist the process of uprooting that has already begun. This comes as a surprise for me, since I have been working towards this very moment for the three years it took from the very first meeting with our future neighbours to the moment when the house will finally ready to be filled with our lives.
Surprising also because the place we are leaving has been the reason for much nuisance, like disputes between neighbours, issues with the landlady, not enough space for a family of four and general stuff that has to do with living in a building that’s over a hundred years old in an apartment which has not been renovated in the last 30 years. I am the epitome of wanting to move out, I really am.
Or so I thought.
All these good reasons notwithstanding, this is the first home we shared as a family. This is where my children took their first steps, sang their first songs, started to speak. Where we celebrated birthdays, christenings, my PhD. Where, when we moved, two dear friends were living literally across the road, and where now, after a split-up which brought all of us even closer than before, one dear friend is still our next-door-neighbour.
There are so many things I am looking forward to in the new house, from more space and bathrooms I designed myself to living with friends and a house full of kids. But the promise of future happiness cannot fade out the sadness of saying goodbye to past joy. However great our life in the new house will be, we are still leaving here.
My roots will be severed soon. I can feel it. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: It will take time to strike new ones.