Grit Blogs > Almost Country

Here We Are: Putting Down Roots and Watching the Unexpected Grow

Wild Strawberry

Just when I think nothing can grow in this forested yard but trees, a few straggly weeds, and the occasionally spectacular fungi, there they are: wild strawberries. Three tiny red berries and a little yellow blossom heralding the impending arrival of at least one more.

It’s funny what can take root in unexpected places.

Just when I think we surely must move to have the life we want, here we are: two people getting involved in the local art scene, volunteering our time and talents, happy with life and each other, feeling a sense of community we imagined we’d find later, when we moved to the country. When I changed my lifestyle. When we followed our dreams. Later. Down the road. Not here, in our Chicago suburban town. Not now.

And yet here we are, putting down roots — and thriving. What’s changed? My commitment. I’ve always had one foot out the door, looking ahead to the next thing. For the first time in a long while, I'm embracing what is, and I’ve got both feet firmly planted on the ground.

Blame it on the economy. Or being one year away from 50. Or a summer of witnessing too many personal tragedies. Something nudged me into now. And here we are. Committed to blooming where we’re planted. Nurturing our dreams on this bald and shady patch of land where — lucky us — the unexpected grows.