I’m sitting on a train from Seattle to Vancouver BC—reflecting on when the border was permeable and seen as welcoming neighbors. Similarly though, with Mexico. We now detain and rip apart families at the southern border and craft unnecessary complexity at the last US station, Bellingham. We couldn’t even use the bathrooms until those with proper papers moved on to Canada.
When I lived in New Zealand a few years ago, I was asked at a small regional airport, “I better have a damn good reason for flying back to the US.” I paused and found it hard to respond. It’s certainly harder today. At that time, the US was manipulating sovereign nations to enter our war of fear and they were mad as hell.
Now we separate families, instilling fear in children, offering trauma and fear, instead of care and welcoming. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
The US was founded as a refuge from tyranny, and today my heart aches that we support both citizens and those still believing in the once upon a time, to a psychic place of terror.
I returned to a place I thought as home with the eloquence of the Obama family to a place where I feel displaced. Home is a tender, gentle place of care and love. Let’s breathe in welcoming and breathe out embrace to the land we call home. Let’s invite that story into our house on the hill.