I am seen in a room with white walls with three mounds of potting soil in front of me and a sage plant that I had grown from a seed my mother gave me. Transplanting and uprooting the plant in the separate mounds of soil creates unbearable tension; the vulnerability and frailty of the sage is sacrificed to an environment where it is not suited to growing. The sterile room contrasts against what is considered alive. The effects of colonialism, migration, diaspora, belonging, safety and identity are hinted at when something fluorishing is pulled out from its roots. How long does it take to recover from being startled out of place?
I often think about how I grew up in Montreal and the difficulty I had moving to Toronto as an adolescent. I have not felt rooted, since. I think about the First Nation my family is from, and the fact I have never been to Atlantic Canada and that most likely, that feeling of home could only be found in my spirit, and not on lands that don’t quite feel right.
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