I recently watched the film “Away We Go” because I like the two main actors and the story portrayed in the trailer about a young couple trying to find their place in the world intrigued me. After finding out the father’s parents are moving very far away, the couple finds themselves with no relational connection to their home and in some ways, they find this somehow freeing in the midst of the unknown to find a new home to call their own.
Without going into the plot of the film, I found myself moved by the story. The couple wanted to find a place they could call home and ideally be able to share that with friends or family. Through the journey, they ultimately began to better understand each other and what they needed: connection. They wanted to connect with others as their family grew. In the midst of the journey, they realize some people who aren’t they remember them to be. They also encounter the reality of pain their friends have experienced and the brokenness of marriage and family.
There were two things that struck me as I watched. One was the optimism that something better was in store for them. Broken families and friends with challenging marriages were not enough to discourage them to try and make the best life for the child they were expecting. The second is that the innate focus to connect and share life with others. The willingness to travel the countryside and find friends or family that would form the basis of their new community is what drove them forward to keep looking. Community is a much more powerful thing than we typically give it credit for. I have certainly make many decisions because of the communities I am a part of, from friends to church to work to family. It’s part of who we are as humans to want to be in community with others. Even for those of us who may lean slightly towards the introverted side of personality types still desperately need others. Just maybe not as frequently, but still as deeply.
Even if it wasn’t the point of the movie, I left myself with many questions How far am I willing to go to find and create a community I can be part of? What am I willing to sacrifice to make that happen? Will I move halfway across the country or the world? Will I give up everything I know and am comfortable with to make that happen?