Saturday, January 27, 2007

HDR PMC-IR Home on both sides

This is the Humber River in south central Ontario. When I was standing on the bank last summer I remember reflecting on the nature of rivers. So often in our world they form the boundary between one place and another, one people and another. They sometimes mark the difference between freedom and oppression, opportunity and poverty. The Rio Grande between the US and Mexico, for instance, is not much more impressive than this for much of its length, easily forded on foot, as thousands do. I've stood at the side of the Niagara River, marvelling that the land on the other side was not the same, not mine; someone else's... and that the same was true for them looking back; all the more remarkable that for a generation between the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, it was no such boundary at all. It was all "one" place, one people, on both sides. And then, one day, it wasn't.

And so standing here on the Humber, I remember feeling grateful that what was true on one side was true on the other; that it was all home; that wherever I stood, I belonged. It's not hard to imagine a history where that might not have been true, and this view here might have been like so many others: two ends that meet in the middle.

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