I often struggle with a sense of belonging. This struggle is most apparent when I go home after a period of being away. I live in a land-locked province lush with natural beauty. I might argue that it is Canada’s best kept secret. In the north, there are trees so tall and so strong, juxtaposed to the vulnerable boreal shield bedrock. In the south there are badlands and buttes and hills that span for miles; there are prairie grasses and cacti. In the north, we fear the mighty bear. In the south, we fear the sneaky rattlesnake. The middle of the province is home to a transitional biome, full of wetlands, diverse vegetation, and have I mentioned the sunsets? I can not imagine living anywhere else.
I am in love with where I call home. Yet, I often wonder if I truly belong. This thought is most forefront when I think about the direction my home’s economy is moving. How each level of government is working to undermine the beauty I have described above, simply for short-term economic gain. The people of my province are friendly and humble and loving, but many do not understand the climate crisis. And I don’t know how to navigate this misunderstanding.
My province is cold. It is so incredibly cold. Half of the year is spent in winter parkas; we can see our breath each time we exhale. Imagine how difficult that makes connecting a warming global climate with an increase in natural disasters, an increase in food scarcity, and more. The response is often: “Global warming can’t be real if it’s this cold!” (Ugh.) My province is home to immense privilege. While we are experiencing some effects of climate change, we are not experiencing the immense level of displacement and destruction that folks in more vulnerable parts of the world are experiencing.
So, who am I within all of this? How do I fit in? Some days are harder than others, to find the strength to keep doing this work. Sometimes I wonder how I fit into all of this.
But I keep fighting for a better tomorrow. Every single day.