Friday, September 14, 2012

Back to my Roots

I totally get how musicians give each tour its own identity, whether they have released a new album or not; I get the same kind of need to figure out a theme or unifying idea whenever I come back to Saskatchewan. There is something different with each escapade, and I have found that I usually get an idea of the theme shortly before the tour commences; in this case, it came directly out of what someone prayed for me at church on the Sunday before I left. This is the "Back to my Roots" Tour of September 2012, and it is my fourth tour since moving to the Island (following the "Spring into Action" Tour of March 2010, the Christmas 2010 Tour, and the Celebration Tour in July 2011, when several family events were happening), and it has been largely about reconnecting with my community in the prairies. It has been my quickest tour, but it is different because I'm solo this time (the music tour analogy may be extended here). After the year I had, I have felt the strong need to reclaim relationships that have gotten lost in the shuffle, but I was also surprised about some of the names that came to mind this time around - people who have mentored me in the past, like my youth pastor and IVCF staff worker - with whom I have not connected in anywhere from five to ten years. It has been refreshing and worthwhile to re-establish those connections, even as a reminder of who I have been in the past. I think my favourite moment was when my youth pastor - who I have known since I was in Grade 7 - commented that he was glad to see that I had strong social connections, since that's something he had prayed about for me when I was in junior high (and trust me, I needed the prayer). I thought it was an interesting observation to make, but I understand why he made it; after all, when he met me in the fall of 1994, I was 11 years old, and I routinely brought books with me because I was at best disengaged from connecting with others (at worst, I was socially inept and kind of an ass). His impressions of me were shaped by the me I was thirteen years ago, but it was still me; he vividly remembered that I ordered an ice cream cone at McDonald's with "Make it Bacon", and I was all too eager to tell him about the maple-bacon ice-cream cake my wife makes. It was great for me to connect, through him and others, to the me I have been in the past through shared memories. I have also connected with family (more on that later) and felt much more connected to my roots that way, perhaps as much (or more) than I have in years (at least since moving to BC). My roots here still go very deep, and I am glad to be reconnecting with that well-established root system while I'm here, though it remains to be seen how I can continue maintaining this reconnection once I return.

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