To all who know displacement, To all who search for conjugation


Today, as of this writing, a tapestry of houses near where I attended elementary school that were quickly built over the course of my childhood, are fighting against the flames. Golden plains that at one point held tall grasses waving in the wind, now channel the 55 mph wind through manmade canyons, fanning the embers that are now thrust sky bound. If, upon my return home, there will be anything left to return to?
I was raised into a disappearing land, forced to reckon with the fragility and anxiety of a warming climate. Those formative years were spent both exploring but also protecting a land in which my roots grow strong and deep, youth lost in a forest fire. It is a place that knows adversity, scarred by a settler colonial history and tall tales of faultless wealth. The process of reparation is almost as slow as the violence that has ricocheted throughout these valleys. We didn’t pollute the world, yet we deal with the repercussions. Every year that is the new hottest year on record is a year where more of my homeland is lost. The fear that all things we cherish may be gone in an instant is real and is visceral.
Narratives aren’t powerless, hear these stories for they cannot melt into a shifting land. Empathy fosters collective understanding. We are stewards of change, our identities constructed both by place and by time. We are grown by our personal natures, gathered across climates - everyone comes from somewhere. Today it is my home, tomorrow it is another. Cataclysm happens every day, but time and time again humans prove that we are resilient, adaptive, and through collective action - able to construct a more equitable future.
Origin - A Letter to a Future Self, May 12, 2022