I’m struggling to define “local” these days. Life has been so unstable for the last nine months that we seem to have no local anything anymore. We are missing a whole lot of local, in fact: a local bar, a local grocery store, a local group of friends, even a local collection of all of our possessions. I like feeling like a local; I like to belong, I like habit, and I like to have regular places that I frequent.
Given my love for travel and always being on the move, this state of affairs should not have thrown me as it has. But having one foot out the door implies that the other one is planted somewhere, and it’s that solid base I’m missing. For 25 years, local has meant my home in a small village near Chicago, a place filled with independent stores where the shopkeepers knew my name and stocked things I asked for, an errand always turned into a chat, and everything I owned was in one place.
We are now bouncing from DC city apartment to Pennsylvania mountain getaway, minus the hiking shoes I left in the Midwest on the last trip “home.” I feel scattered, but (I swear) I’m trying hard to make my new location my idea of local.