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What We Leave Behind

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Birthplace. I nearly forgot to say that.

And, though our friendships having largely been transient experiences, there is hope and belief that new ones will be developed and sustained. This is a busy world with caught-up people living in it. With children today having to attend schools a distance from home, their friends (and parents) are as well. And so we leave the friends who have become more like family and will visit, call and e-mail.

We leave a beautiful block, with simple yet attractive homes and children able to play in the street. And, while I must admit to being sick of people calling New York the greatest city in the world, it does have serious potential. Its blue-ish purpleness, however, pitting Westchester against the city, has had this Democrat feeling insecure in her own home for some time. Why must we work so hard every major election to get Democrats for mayor and governor if we're a blue state? It's the rotten luck of having select Republicans who can sing Democrat on cue.

We leave behind one familiarity for another. I've heard it said that moving from one domain to another is the emotional equivalent of experiencing a death in the family. Who can argue with the need to get used to the new "daily?" But the new daily is where you "place" it. I suppose it's just another form of taking (back) control, especially after someone else can't handle the control they've had over you.

We leave behind a voting system desperately in need of rebirth, having embedded in this voter a sense of despair that comes with what's become Pointless Election Day. We hope we can leave behind the sensation of surrounding opposition-a government against its own people, and now completely unrecognizable in the form of four, horridly blank, solid walls, a ceiling too easy to touch, and no dirt for a floor to call earth...a symbol of sanity. Though not particularly religious, I have done a share of praying during these times. My hope is that the souls for justice who continue to live in the U.S. may have their day again to be heard, without tears, as individuals.

But one thing we won't leave behind is the notion that we didn't try to do something to help our deserving neighbors. As I've said before, we couldn't do this otherwise. The desire to correct the situation is sustained among residents both north and south of the border. The effort to stabilize democracy is taking place on both sides as well. Shutting the door on the place we've left could sound potentially easy to do, with our needs to leave as well as concentrate on resettlement. But family, friends, our having been raised as Americans, and the Canadian influence all will work towards keeping us connected to the cause.

And in taking expanding steps toward leaving this country for the new home, I've taken moments to remember the immigrants who so often have to enter the U.S. in a measurably comparable way to ours in entering Canada...dividing before joining and staying, for the benefit of all concerned.
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Rachel emigrated to Canada in the summer of 2006.- She has an M.A. in Teaching ESOL, and her poetry, short stories and articles have appeared in print and online. Rachel is a member of Fair Vote Canada.

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