Author(s): Kali Wendorf
For so many of us, finding community or the place where we feel we belong, is at the heart of our lives. Unexpected events, through choice or circumstance, can move us away from our roots. We leave our home towns, we are torn from what we love, we build new lives in foreign countries, and we search for what nourishes our connectedness. These accounts of particular journeys to belong include the pilgrimage home to place, family, love, culture and spirit. For many, the search is to find a place in nature where we 'belong', a place that transports us away from the ordinary. For others it is the challenge of maintaining a connection to a culture that, as a refugee, they have had to leave behind forever. Indigenous and non-indigenous people may take the journey of relearning the land of their ancestors, coming home to it, feeling the presence of ancestors who lived in that place. One story explores the Aboriginal principle of kanyini, connectedness through caring and responsibilities to land, animals, family, spirit. For some, belonging is finding a place they want to live and work in. For another it resides in the love of a sibling, and feeling the deep loss of that person, heightening the realisation that we belong to our roots. Realising that while we pursue 'belonging', it can often reveal itself to be about not belonging to any one thing in particular. As we are a country of migrants, the experience of many is learning to belong to a new place, allowing ourselves to create a sense of community that resonates with our own nature. For others it is missing one's homeland, and the intimate connections that form community there ...and then learning how to create community, rich and strong, elsewhere. Our lives are full of work - and some may find their 'belonging' through helping others; locating that special work where you are giving to those in need through your acts of love.
Kali Wendorf is the founder, editor and publisher of Kindred, an online natural living resource and community. She lives in Northern NSW.