Before leaving on our trip, I thought I was going somewhere that would be more authentically native and at the least having the opportunity to spend more time outside would give me something I needed. But I am having trouble settling back into life here. While there was superficially more nativeness in Vancouver and more natives day to day my expectations were not met in this area.
Maybe that shows my expectations as unrealistic. Maybe it shows that nativeness is not something that I can consume passively. I think that it also showed the role of place in nativeness is a way I had not considered before. I don't really love Ottawa, but it is my space where I practice my metis identity. The space matters a lot in how I experience and see myself.
Being out in nature with the children was really good. The green soothed my soul, but it was not my life. We have to connect to our own green spaces, not the perfect ones that might exist somewhere else. The teaching and learning that need to be done require engagement with a space over seasons, of both the space and our own lives. A trip to a beautiful spot might feed the soul but it cannot make up for a lack in this other learning.
I need to fill up my tobacco bowl by the front door and plan my days so that our family has time to sink into the rhythms of our lives. To make sure and leave enough time to stop and watch the world wake up from winter. To engage with my world and not some better one that I can't access. What is before me is a plenty if I choose to see it.