Why do we go somewhere? Why do we take journeys? What are we seeking? What are we leaving behind?
These are all questions we will be asking this month as we begin our summer theme of Stories and Quests. It feels like a timely exploration as we face an immigration crisis in our country that is affecting thousands of children and their families.
“I’m a big believer that as much as possible, and there’s obviously political limitations, freedom of migration is a good thing." - Bill Gates
The history of humanity is one of exploration, travel and movement. When people move from one place to another, either willingly or unwillingly, and settle in the new area permanently or temporarily, we call that migration. People migrate due to changing climate or resources. They may also seek religious or political freedom. Some migrations are unwilling, examples being the slave trade and escape from ethnic persecution.
We are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Early humans migrated from Africa into other parts of the world. Check out this cool map of early human migration.
Much of early migration was accomplished by walking long distances but now there are many ways people travel around the world. Many of our ancestors came to this country by boat seeking a new and better life. Some arrived against their will, like during the slave trade or because of political or religious persecution.
Try this: Airplane
Cars, boats and trains are all ways we can move from place to place. Today, some people migrate by taking an airplane. How did you or your ancestors travel to the US?
When we look to nature, we see that humans are not the only creatures that move around the world to adapt to changing resources - birds, mammals, fish, reptiles and even insects are migratory animals.
Animals have no borders. They travel by instinct to meet their needs, follow resources and adapt to change. Ultimately, through migration, animals work within the ecosystem to create balance and harmony with nature.
Every fall, millions of monarch butterflies leave their homes in Canada and the Northern US and travel over 3,000 miles to Southern California and Mexico.
Try this: Caterpillar into Butterfly
Start with a caterpillar walk - From forward fold, walk your hands forward into plank and then your feet up to hands. Walk feet back to plank and then your hands back to forward fold. Hang and sway in forward fold to make a chrysalis. Roll up to stand, stretch your wings and fly like a butterfly in warrior 3 pose.
The history of our planet is made up of human and animal migration. We all have an opportunity to learn from people who come from a different place or have diverse life experiences. And while we are all unique, we are more alike than we are different. Everyone wants and deserves to be happy, peaceful, safe and free.
So today, take a few moments to send Loving Kindness to your loved ones and all the people of the world who venture forth in search of possibility and opportunity.