Things are going to be changing even more. You ain't seen nothing yet. I had strong feelings about what was going to happen. I left Hawai'i to go home to Montana, for many reasons. I felt things were going to get to a point where I would never be able to get home again and see those I loved. In a way, I came home to die.
In her post today, Sharon Astyk covers some very important things about such decisions. And you need to read the entire post here.
But there is one part of her post that has great bearing on bioregional animism, and on how most people feel very strongly that certain places are "home" while other places are not. A word to the wise...if where you are is not "home," go "home" as soon as you can. Sharon says:
If you are native to another place. By native, I mean that many of us have a strong sense of place, and a strong sense of belonging to a place. My husband once went on a job interview at UIL Champagne-Urbana. He recalls looking across the land and seeing the horizon and thinking “oh, there’s the ocean.” But of course, there was no ocean there - his misperception lasted only a second, but revealed something about his ability to live in that place - he comes from people who live on hilly land around water, and know the flat horizon as the space of the sea. It is possible that he could have adapted to the flat open land of the midwest and learned to love it - but it is also possible that one’s sense of place should be respected if possible. I know people who have never fully adapted to their place, in the sense of being truly native to it - desert born people who could never breathe comfortably in the humid air of the southeast, warm climate people who found the cold of northern winters unbearable, city folk who find the country abnormally empty and silent, water folk who can’t imagine life away from a boat.
Not everyone is tied to a place - some people can live anywhere, others in a wide range of places. Some people can take their sense of place to wherever they go, and find a new home. But some people can’t. And it is simply the case that your body, and parts of your soul are shaped by your experience - a college friend of mine once spoke of people who grew up by the sea has sharing “water thinking” and noted that she who lived in Hawaii and I who lived in Coastal Massachusetts had that in common in our way of viewing the world. More mundanely, people who grow up in hot climates develop more sweat glands, and a better ability to cool themselves than people who grow up in cold ones - our physiology is shaped by our place.
And our native knowledge of our place is valuable - in fact, it may be the most powerful tool we have. Now some of us will have to leave our native places, to journey again as people so often have. But if we can stay where we are, knowing our flora and fauna, knowing what grows where and how things smell when the seasons change and how to heal or feed or tend with what is native here is absolutely valuable - as is the ability to adapt that knowledge as our places change. So if there is a place where you feel at home, and no other constraints bind you, perhaps you will want to go there, and be there, and help other people be there.