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Friday, March 23, 2012

Of Time and Place

If you had to move to a new country to live, which one would you choose?  Why?  What most would you miss most about your roots?  (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, p.124).

From my experience in growing up during times I can remember, we moved to new towns about every four years.  Although the places we moved were always in the same state (Florida), I found moving an unpleasant experience.  I had to leave best friends and familiar haunts behind.  Looking back, I cherish each place we moved to, but at the time I found moving a special challenge.  Perhaps for this reason, as soon as I was able I settled down in one place—Saint Petersburg, Fl.  I have done so because I like the continuity represented by sending down roots.  I don’t do well as a frequent transplant.  In Saint Petersburg, I purchased a home as soon as possible and established widespread connections within my community—work, church, school, along with of course friendships some of which have taken on a deep familial character.  Establishing reliable relationships has met an urgent personal need.  I find these relationships extremely rewarding in providing a sense of purpose and stability.  In many ways for me, place provides identity.  I know who I am to a large extent by the company I keep.  While this may reveal a personal weakness—a lack of a self-conceived presence, a lack of a self-sufficient identity and an appalling lack of independence—I can only testify to its truth.  Discrete individuality for me is largely a fiction.  I am, more than I sometimes like to aver, a product of my time and place.

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