Shared Roots

The annual hometown reunion has come and gone again. As usual, I saw some people I had not seen in many years. Why we come back to this small town is always a topic of discussion. I believe the consensus is that though it was a modest place to grow up in many respects, we can’t imagine how we would have turned out if we had gotten our beginnings elsewhere.

I suppose that is the case with anyone and their hometown. Who knows what your life would have been like if you had grown up in the city instead of the country, or the east instead of the west, or in farm country instead of an industrial area? Geography and the vocational environment does play a part in our outcome.

Yet, there is something more. One common quote I have heard, and agree with is, “I can’t think of a better place to grow up than right here.” Yes, things look different. Everything seems to have shrunk! When we talk, we are picking up a continuing conversation begun perhaps decades ago, but no one seems to need to start all over. While we do catch up on our lives, we are not beginning again. We are adding to the story that began in a common little place that is understood perfectly by those who share the story.

Someone else said this weekend, “We don’t do much handshaking; we do a lot of hugging!” Yes, we do.

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