Growing up, as a child, we moved, a lot.
Before I was thirteen years old my family had lived in eight different houses across several different counties of England, and I had attended a handful of different schools.
Through the work of my father, real estate wins, schooling choices, and an open mind, my family moved a great deal.
We were still secure, and loved, and routines didn't deviate all that much, but I do recall a sense of movement. Or rather a lack of feeling truly settled.
I left home at seventeen, to go to uni at the other end of the country, and so my slightly nomadic existence continued. Between student digs, shared houses, live-in accommodation in hotels and live-in relationships, between my late teens and mid twenties I have actually lost track of the amount of times I shifted and moved addresses...
I made friends everywhere I went and retained many of those relationships. I am still in touch with many of those friends in varying degrees - Facebook and email has made that possible. I still chat and email with the best friend I made in the street we lived in in 1976. As well as that, I am still close to a great number of my school and uni friends from the heady days of the 1980's, along with the friends I made through my early working life in the '90's.
School friends still live in the villages they were born in.
Uni friends have returned home to the places they grew up in, to have their own children, to further develop the roots still deeply embedded.
Old work colleagues have bought homes and now have their own families growing up in the same streets.
I don't think I realised, when I made the decision to move from the UK to Australia in the 1995, how much my life had been a chain of moves, a long list of uprooting. It stood me in good stead, for the move to another country, another life, was seamless and easy.
Upon meeting my lovely husband, we "settled" quickly, in Sydney's inner west. He is a boy from the Northern Beaches but he chose to move to the other side of town. And he and I, since then, have bought, renovated, sold, moved, relocated and resettled seven times in fifteen years. I am not sure whose sense of adventure has driven this. Both, I suspect. Between three states, we have made homes in Sydney, Adelaide and Darwin, all successfully. Each move has bought new challenges, new excitements, new friends and new lives to explore.
We are now firmly and finally wed to the house and home we live in here in the leafy foothills of Adelaide. It is an area that is safe, beautiful and everything we need in terms of people and facility. I love it.
And we are surrounded by people who have lived here their whole lives. They may have moved a street or a suburb aside, but whole families grow up together and do not move.
At my children's school, I am surrounded by parents who also attended the school before their children, some over thirty years ago.
There is a deep and incredibly secure vibe of confidence, community and well being to all of these new friends. They have lived here their whole lives; they know every corner of the area - every street, every park, every shop, every character and every tradition. And their children are safely harboured in the same enviable sense of security.
They have not moved for career or adventure or habit. They have met partners locally and bought homes locally. Their parents and relatives all live nearby: a constant supply of support, knowledge and babysitting available. Even if they have travelled, they have the homing bird trait - and always land back where they started.
If I am honest, I am envious of this status. It is this deep placement of roots that I wish for my children, and the reason, I suspect, that I baulk at moving home again, and the reason I will resist a change of schools for my three little ones.
But then I think of the adventures I have had, the things I have experienced, the openness of my eyes in the face of travel and change. And I know some of my new friends are in awe and envy of my nomad adventures, and crave this for themselves.
I am never sure, and will never be sure of the "best" way. It is too late for me to change my history now. Will my children resent that I will keep them secure and settled in one house and in one school and in one town, until they are ready to leave home? Will they percieve that as boring and unadventurous? Who knows.
What about you? Roots? Or wings?