Site Meter

Thursday, September 07, 2017


As I prepare to leave Grenoble and start up a new life in Boulder, Colorado, I think about the moving process and also about what it means to have roots.

We often think of having roots in a country or in a region as meaning that we have a history there.  Our parents and grandparents and perhaps even many generations further back may have lived in this region.  This is an important definition of roots, and a powerful basis for a sense of belonging and embeddedness in one's life.

I want to consider a different definition of roots which is more directly related to the biological notion of plant roots.  Roots are a network that allows the plant to be nourished.  From this perspective, we can think of creating new roots in a more directed fashion.  In some ways, this is what I have attempted during my time in France.  For example, learning French is part of developing roots because it leads to such an array of connectedness and ability to communicate for practical needs, emotional connection, and general cultural belonging.  Knowing which grocery stores to go to, how to apply for a carte de sejour, and reading train and bus schedules is also a form of roots.

This line of thought also allows us to think about which kinds of environments may be suitable for us to live.  Some city or region may have many resources available to those who live there, but without the appropriately developed roots, one won't be able to take advantage of them and be nourished by them.

Of course, people aren't plants, but we all need nourishment, in so many different ways.  I think it is a valuable pursuit to start to make our roots in the world more visible!


Ponder Stibbons said...

Congrats (I hope!).

Boaz said...

Thank you!
Mixed feelings about it all, but on to a new stage of life.