It struck me as I was typing the title of this post how lucky we are that we can indeed make a life when in so many parts of the world people are stuck with the hand they happen to be dealt. The migrants risking their lives to cross the world's busiest shipping lane in a flimsy craft to get to what they consider will be a 'better life' - it certainly will be for anyone coming from Afghanistan at the moment. We might complain but really compared with so many places we are so very lucky to live here 'in the West'.
But I suppose we all try to make a better life for ourselves. Some of us stick to our roots. I was thinking here of my dear farmer, now four years gone and it seems like yesterday. In the days he was born in I suppose he had no choice over his life - family farm, oldest son, helping out within a couple of years of being born - destined to take over the family farm and undoubtedly until I came along (me 59 and a widow who had been around and he a 49 year old bachelor) no other idea in his head. Others can't wait to spread their wings - some in this country, some to go much further afield.
An interesting article in the week-end Times magazine speaks of three who have come home - it makes food for thought. One couple from Hong Kong - always intended to return permanently eventually after 19 years there they did just that and what they noticed most was that they had a 'cultural gap' to catch up. Husband says 'Strictly Come Dancing' what the Hell is that?
People seemed obsessed with the idea that they were having to miss their Summer holidays - did it matter? Although returnees thought not it wasn't long before this small somewhat crowded island meant that they too fancied a week end in Paris and were frustrated they couldn't go. Did you know that fifty eight per cent of Americans don't possess a passport - there is so much to see there, so many places to go.
Interestingly one couple who returned and then moved out into rural Suffolk found it very hard to make friends. Finally the wife saw someone on Facebook saying they were new to the area and wished to make new friends. She responded and now there is a group of a hundred all eager to make friends. So perhaps it is hard although I (a country girl at heart although my teaching life was spent in cities)never found it so.
The couple returning from the US said it was a good place to live so long as you were never ill, poor or vulnerable.
Here one couple found us 'obsessed with house prices'.
So it seems that wherever we go nowhere is ever perfect. This is nodoubt due to what my father always used to say - wherever you go you take your own self with you.
And to that I would add - whether you are a home bird, like to fly the nest, like to cross the world - when you die you take all that experience, all those wonderful places and experiences you have had with you and this old world carries on as though you had never been.