Carol Boyer: Let’s warmly welcome those who find a new home here

Published: 8/12/2019 10:42:42 AM

Out of necessity, I had to let go of many precious things when I downsized from a house into an apartment where the rent fit into my budget. This downsizing led me to the loss of many beloved possessions, including my mother’s glass rolling pin. A friend had room among her things for it.

Being forced to give away this rolling pin bequeathed to me by my mother left me feeling unprotected, bereft. The loss of this item, symbol of so many enduring connections over many decades of my life, left me with deep sadness. I felt out of control of my life.

My move took place in peaceful circumstances. I had financial pressures, but I was not forced out of my country, leaving behind family and the deep friendships that flavor life. And my mother’s rolling pin is safe.

For refugees, the experience is different. They face violence and destruction at home. To find safety, they endure a debilitating journey to a foreign land. They must leave behind the emotional, visual and tactile elements of their lives: cooking tools, neighborhoods, friends and family, food traditions, trees, the taste of local water, language and customs, religious practices, clothing, income — their rolling pins and much more.

To reconstruct their lives in a new country, they face a daunting set of tasks they did not ask for. Most painfully, even after sacrifices made to find a safe home, their children are still at the mercy of forces beyond their control.

What response shall we make to our fellow human beings who have left behind the things they cherish to reach safety? We have it in our power to warmly welcome them, and we are empowered to direct our government to enact policies that bring peaceful development to the lands they have loved as home.

Carol Boyer

Northampton




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