When I read Kiva Rose's writing on weeds and invasive species a part of myself felt understood. For I am to this day 'from somewhere else' too. And to this day I cringe when I hear the word invasive because I certainly don't feel like one and I can assure you that plants don't feel it either (well, not until they're sprayed with round-up).
My first solo relocation as an adult happened when I left my hometown to go to college. A big transition that was meant to happen and that I dreamed about it since I can remember. Throughout my life the feeling of not belonging accompanied myself like a good friend (except that good friends don't let you down, or make you feel lonely or excluded) and I dealt with it writing and keeping it deep on the grounds of my soul. But also overeating and watching movies (this I don't regret).
Small towns, like small untended gardens, can be suffocating, infertile and lacking the diversity and nourishment we need to grow. I don't resent any of it, I don't resent my town and specially my parent's choices...I simply had to move when time was right ~ to fulfil that empty space in my heart. In a lot of ways I needed to be able to breath deeply and out, to branch out! I needed space and movement.
Interestingly enough, 20 years later I am still writing my relocation story. I am still learning about the numerous ways change can happen and the multiple layers of meaning in 'home'. I'm still discovering to nurture home within mysef, among memories and distant stories of my past. I am learning with my children what home means in their hearts. it's a ongoing process! I'm learning that it could actually mean a distant place, a poem and a warm plate of food my mother used to make. I could go on and on...
So when I hear the word invasive I feel deeply sad. I feel the channels of communication between us, between you and the plants closing. I feel disrespected in my freedom of movement and choice. I feel I should not be 'here'. Most of all, I feel you do not want to listen. And when we refuse or lose our ability to listen to others, to feel empathy, we are losing a crucial aspect of our humanity.
I certainly miss the soil I was born in and grew up to be, but I'm not limited by it. Just like home is not limited to physical space.
"It’s also important to remember that “invasive aliens” act not from a place of malicious intent (a trait primarily limited to humans, I’m afraid), but are more reacting to their relatively sudden loss of context and ecology they have evolved to. In many cases of invasive species taking over, there is some initial degradation to the original environment that allows for new and different plants to move in and become dominant species. So sorry, folks, that patch of dirt you dug up and call a garden? That’s the disturbed ground that a weed calls “easy pickins.’” ~ Kiva Rose