• Sarah Hines

Finding your tribe

I was raised without an appreciation for my culture. I am a child of successful parents who worked for the man throughout the 80's. When status was as important as hairspray and working at the office for 12 hours a day was just a normal day. And, while I too was caught up in this facade, I did have a sense that it was hollow. At a very young age, while everyone was out getting a job title to prove their worth, I sat with my face in the setting sun, the warmth of the summer wind whispering "there has to be more" only to brush it off as selfish and ungrateful.

Fast forward, 30 years, I followed suit, became successful with a fancy title, house in the city, etc. etc. but every now and then, if I was really quiet, I could still hear the wind whispering to me. Sadly, I had gotten better at ignoring it.

Upon reflection I realized I became more of a cultural nomad. I floated into other tribes like my Greek friends in college, or my now super amazing Portuguese in laws. Not really realizing that perhaps I have been on a mission to find a place of belonging. Somewhere that I call home.

All these years have passed and I still wander. I have spend time with the teachings of Buddha, researched the Koran and most recently spent time understanding the wisdom of the Indigenous Tribes of North America. Then it hit me: "I'm not sure what is more tragic , the fact that many don't identify with any culture in particular or those that do, are watching it be squandered."

So I reflect. What is the best way to really understand my ancestors, my culture and essentially my home? I don't feel that I am honouring anyone or any place by picking a culture out of a line up and taking it on as mine. In fact, it's a disservice to all of those that came before on a multitude of levels. That this not what my ancestors wanted for me nor do I want that for my children.

I seem to be ignoring that in spite of my disregard, I will be considered an ancestor one day. That I will be leaving a mark on this land and on my people. What will that mark be? What do I want to teach my tribe? After I am gone, what will I be whispering to them? In the wise words of Stephen Jenkinson "the best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago."

What trees are you planting today?



Toronto, ON