My favorite musicals are about people tied to places, other people and the whole idea of home: Les Miserables, Ragtime, and of course Fiddler. The happy, witty shows are fun, but I love the ones that at some point make me tear up or at least want to cry, perhaps because I have always been homeless ... not houseless, just homeless, unless a whole state can be considered "home" rather than a town in it. If Jean Val Jean sang, "Bring Him Home" for me I would be dropped off at the airport.
Most people have home towns. Even if as adults they leave and never go back, it is the place they were raised, spent years, knew people and often are still connected to. Just to figure out where I was when, I have to write down the years and actually think of who with, doing what in order to remember where. Awhile back I wrote that "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" was my theme song.
Cross the river, 'round the bend
Howdy stranger, so long friend
There's a voice in the lonesome wind
That keeps whisp'ring, "Roam!"
I'm going where a welcome mat is
No matter where that is'
Cause any place I hang my hat is home
The end result has been a lack of tradition. On the plus side, I never do anything because "that is the way it is done", strangers aren't strangers just people I haven't met yet, and change isn't frightening just different. On the downside there is a rootlessness to almost sixty five years ... people and places that I know, but nowhere that I totally belong just places I've lived.
That is the big gift of tradition within the family and from there the community. Everyone within a tradition have shared beliefs, history and experiences. It can be stultifying and limiting at times or supportive and comforting in its familiarity. The trick is to know what to celebrate and keep and what to leave behind as you move into the future. In the end that is tradition. The ones you've kept. The ones you've left behind, and the new one's you've created to pass on to another generation who will in turn do things because it is tradition, and "that's the way it has always been done".
Be sure to visit Mo at the Manic Monday site to join in on the fun.