When I was in high school, I took a part-time job at a jewelers in my hometown.
I specialized in selling cheap earrings. Only the manager was allowed to touch the Rolexes.
But even with my nine carat limit, I felt I’d hit glitter-time. I had money to spend, so I did. When Christmas came, there was extra days and overtime. My little brown pay packet was stuffed.
I think this was the moment I grew up, the moment I joined the adult world.
And I’m not sure that was a good thing.
We don’t realize at the time, but childhood is when we’re most at home. It’s when we meet the world’s new things with wonder, when we explore, when we collect. I’d find pheasant feathers and shiny rocks, bringing them home to my little museum in my bedroom. I planted a chestnut tree in the garden and watched it grow.
Childhood is when we’re most in touch with the world. Every grazed knee a reminder of where we’re from.
Then we step on the escalator of adulthood. We leave home, sometimes physically, always metaphorically. We follow the well-trodden path of education and job and promotion. We earn more, we spend more. We construct a life in society’s narrative.
Which is all fine. But it’s not until years later that we realize we’re lost. We’ve strayed so far from home we’ve forgotten what home is.
We’re the chestnut tree, now yanked out because it was threatening the house foundations.
But our roots are still there.
This is when we begin the journey back home.