transient.

31 Oct
adjective.
lasting only for a short time; impermanent.
I drove two hours south to Shalom Hill Farm last Tuesday for an intern cluster meeting. All of the interns and their respective supervisors from the area gather together to discuss internship and how the year has began. As the interns came together to discuss the joys and stress of internship, this word surfaced – transient.
I have been a transient person for the last eight years. I have never lived in the same location for more than a calendar year. Sure, I spent four years at Luther in Decorah but those four academic years were spent living in four different locations on campus with a summer of moving home in between. From Luther I moved home and then continued onto Stillwater. Stillwater to St.Paul, back to Stillwater, return to St.Paul and now onto Dawson. My life has been transient.
At internship cluster, we focused on the negative aspects of being a transient person, of not being in one place longer than a year, of being new and unaccustomed to the places we live so often as we start somewhere new. I agree. There are certainly negatives of a transient lifestyle. No deep roots are allowed to grow and the beginnings of settlement are uprooted in the early stages of growth.
But then this weekend I drove to St.Paul and in a way, it felt like I was going home. It was familiar. I have spent the last two academic years as a city dweller in the eastern-most Twin City. There were friends, hugs, and the familiar place that I have grown to love of Luther Seminary. Even as I drove on 94 past the Minneapolis skyline, I felt welcomed back to a place I knew well, a place of good memories and lots of growth. I never dreamt that I would enjoy living in a city, especially one as large at Minneapolis/St.Paul, but have proven myself wrong.
I took a side trip to Stillwater to visit former coworkers on Friday. As I drove on Myrtle Street, down the hill towards the scenic St.Croix, I had another moment of peace, of familiarity. Stillwater feels a bit like home too. The people that welcomed me, people with whom I spent two and half years in partnered ministry, reminded me why I love Stillwater, why it felt so good to return, even if only for a short visit.
Then today I returned to Dawson. My visit to the cities was short but I was able to see so many people who are important to me in my life. It was a wonderful trip. I drove past the gnomes at the city limits and dropped my bags in the middle of my living room. I realized that Dawson is quickly becoming a home too. I enjoy my time here, the place where I lay my head at night and cook my meals, and the people of the congregation I am serving.
I also realize that in just over twenty days, I will be traveling home home. Edgerton is my first home. Whenever someone asks me where home is, the answer is Edgerton. It’s the place of my family, my childhood, and I will be counting the days until I make the trip, anxious to see family, friends and Jetta, the family dog.
Though I am transient, never in one place for too long, I have found value in the moving, traveling, and non-sedentary lifestyle that has been my own for the past eight years. I find myself at home in many places. As we discussed at internship cluster, it most certainly has its struggles and challenges, but right now, I am able to focus on the positives and hope to make the most of my time in Dawson, before my transient lifestyle forces my uprooting again.

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