Advertising Safe Space

The smile on my face is huge as the puzzle pieces effortlessly fit together …

I create safe spaces, but I was not the first.

So many memories – Mom laughing loud. Mom dancing. Mom telling a silly joke. Mom just being Mom .. at home.

But as soon as we got in the car, as soon as we left the yard, she began to fade. The laughter and conversations with Dad continued within the confines of the car, but once we got to the store, the clinic, the school it all changed.

Mom became wallpaper (as we, the children, described it) so as not to offend, so as not to get caught in conflict, so as not to announce her indigeneity to those still wishing such people would “stay where they belong”.

Until she was once again home and safe … because Dad created a safe place for her to be.

Until he didn’t. Until those times when sanctuary wasn’t.

Through adult eyes, I can now see how the safe space was Mom’s oxygen, her permission to live, to breathe, to be and how the violation of that space must have left her feeling so incredibly lost.

As it did me, the times my supposed sanctuary disappeared.

So today, a reminder – yes, we must create safe spaces, many more safe spaces for indigenous to be but maintaining them is even more vital.

Do not advertise what you cannot guarantee.

The journey continues …

I love you!