‘When the journey of finding home takes ancestral homelessness into account, we begin to understand the need for sanctuary in a new way. The hunger for home is deeply layered. When seeking a vision of being healed, multi-generational displacement motivates within some of us a desire for our indigenous lands of origin, or to create sanctuary or shared community with those of similar ancestral origin, places where we can enter life fully without fear. We need places to breathe and heal our disconnection from the earth. Our spiritual journey requires us, first of all, to understand the pain and loss of our ancestral identity and to experience the extent to which we have wandered. This loss of our homes is in our bones and begs to be acknowledged, not merely transcended.’ (Sanctuary)
I don’t have any way of knowing what the African-American experience feels like. As a white European who chose to live in California, I can feel some longing for my homeland. My ancestral home – a place I did not grow up – is, and was always, readily available to visit, and I have thought of living there one day in the future. Reading this passage encouraged me to stretch my small understanding of this feeling, to try to imagine how it deep its impact can be. This is the work that those of us in positions of privilege need to do – to listen to those who come from a place of less privilege, without trying to gainsay their experience of being themselves (something privilege lends people to doing), and to practise feeling what the world feels like from that perspective.