Today while touring my present/near future apartment in Gresham, which is a charming and lovely place I will no doubt blog more about in the future, I noticed there was a lot of lichen around. There was licken on the trees, lichen on the patio and the sidewalk and just about everywhere lichen could be found. Intellectually, of course, it is easy to know that an area close to the Columbia River in a moist climate with shady trees (shady in a good way, that is) will have a lot of lichen, but to see it is something quite different altogether.
Naturally, because I am a person prone to take the mundane experiences of life and muse on them in odd ways, I pondered on the nature of lichen and the nature of a rolling stone that gathers no moss. Equally naturally, I combined the two concepts together. When other people ask me where I am from, it often requires a lengthy story for me to feel comfortable having answered it, even if it means that others think of me as a semi-nomadic person who might even be a bit of a drifter. Truth be told, while I am aware that as a pilgrim I am a stranger here on this earth, it would be nice to have a better sense of stability in life and not feel so out of place all the time. I do what I can to get involved enough wherever I am to try to embed myself and find a comfortable niche where I can belong, but overcoming my native fighit or flight tendencies can be quite a challenge.
There have been few places where I have lived long enough to gather lichen. I have lived in a few places where I did not really want to stay, and did not end up settling down in. There are other areas where I would have been reasonably happy to stay but for one reason or another it did not work out. There is at least one place that I knew fairly quickly that I did not want to stay for long and that place did not turn out to want me to stay very long either. Really, though, I am at the stage and age in life where I am looking to settle down a little bit and find some stability and order in my affairs, a base from which to undertake any adventures I am to face, rather than feeling like a tumbleweed connection or a piece of driftwood adrift on the sea.
I do not know whether my wish will be granted, but it would be nice to stay in an area long enough to build deep ties with others, find a good wife, have a family, be able to have some job stability that offers opportunities for growth and variety but also order and structure. While I am aware of the dangerous and uncertain state of this world, it would be a very useful thing to have a safe harbor admit the storms and tempests of this present age, given that I myself have been beaten about a fair bit beaten up over the past few years and I am definitely in need of a bit of shore leave and a refit at the dock to undertake a few small repairs. Only time will tell whether I get my wish or not, but for the moment at least, this rolling stone wants to find a settled place and a place to lay down my burdens.