Monday, December 15, 2008

walking tree

There's a tree in Ghana that's colloquially called the "walking tree." This huge tree has roots that stick up out of the ground like legs with small, shallowly-buried toe roots that ever-so slowly move. Over the course of a few years, this tree migrates a few inches or so. It crawls to a new spot as the decades pass.

In many ways I feel like this tree. Having a crazy sense of adventure and craving of travel, and sets me apart from the less movement-inclined trees I've grown up around. In some ways my passion for travel leaves me feeling lonely, un-relatable or guilty for being too restless. But this is how I was made to be, just as the tree refuses to stay stationary.

As my days in Ghana come to a close, I feel like a glass case of emotions. I miss family while also dreading missing my new Ghanaian friends. I can't wait to see my house again, but will be quietly devastated to leave the temporary life that I've built here. But just as God has ordained the walking tree to movement, he's already established the time I will have in any given location before I have to move again.

It will be painful having to rip up my Ghanaian roots and take another step of life. But I'm trying to appreciate the growth that has taken place here. The equatorial sun has detoxified my personality of a few flaws and the environment here has strengthened my bark, I think. Leaving Accra is going to be the same as leaving other places where I've grown and then left pieces of myself behind. It's the same as then, just at a different time. I miss Norton Shores, Grand Rapids, Evart, Barcelona, Lyon, Semes’ché and even Lomé for all that these places have taught me. But any shed tears just help water the ground for further progression. Growth should be celebrated regardless of geography. I'll accept this as my time for a graceful exit in anticipation of where my antsy roots will take me in the future. And all I hope is that I’ve left behind nutrients for others to grow in my wake and continue to be strengthened wherever I move next.

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