Beyond Home [December 1 2016]
For months or probably even years, the question of where home is has been a nagging one. As we were migrating from one place to the other, we often felt lost with unfamiliar people and places. But at the same time, we were learning about ourselves and clarifying what we’d desire from a environment and what we’d like to contribute back. After reading Beyond the War on Invasive Species, I now have a feeling that this migration process was more natural that we thought.
You see, the more time passes, the less any previous “home” qualifies as a native place for myself and my family. To this day, I can still say that I spent most of my life in Québec. And the place I’ve stayed the longest at is a small village Eastern of the province. But, looking back on the various stages of my life, it would be difficult to pretend that this small village is my native place. In some ways, it could have been since some of the key elements I’m looking for now were found in that place (and might still be) but the circumstances weren’t right and I was not right for that place at the time. I had to find another environment in which to grow.
So, since then, I’ve migrated and, one could say, became an invader. In some of those places I’ve migrated to, I changed. In a few of those, I think I might also have brought some change around me (maybe). And, as I look back on those patterns, I see parallels with my experience and invasive species in constantly changing ecosystems. I’m just another creature trying to find a good place that works for me and maybe bring something positive back to that place.
Of course, I do a less than great job at contributing back to the places I visit than most “invasive” plants but I find comfort in knowing that I’m not necessarily forever lost for finding myself in a new and non-native place. The quest for a home is not stopping but it could become more interesting. Thinking of other living beings that become welcome additions to local ecosystems (at least by livings not fighting the war on invasives), I could now imagine myself having a similar role in a place.
And it might very well be that this place doesn’t have to be one of my previous addresses for me to feel like I belong there.