Taking root and Migrating

Two apparently contradictory concepts, but when you take a closer look, it gives you food for thought

As an image from the world of plants, taking root evokes stability, or even immobility: a tree is not in the habit of changing its location, nor of uprooting to go and transplant itself somewhere else, except by the intervention of a human hand. Nevertheless, behind this apparent fixedness, there is a whole world that thrives: roots go deeper and stretch out, invisible, under the ground; branches also extend and grow, in height as in width, carrying leaves and fruits according to the seasons; and the tree even widens slowly its circumference, the history of which is found in the circles of its trunk. Its story is told over time and in time.

Applied to ourselves, human beings, taking root marks our temporal dimension: how our life grew, developed, widened, deepened during our existence. Each of us looks for his or her roots in his or her genealogy and in the history of his or her ancestors.

On the other hand, in its common meaning, migration evokes movement in space: following the seasons, a migratory bird leaves a region to find somewhere else the climate and the environment which suit its nature.

A migrant, according to the usual, administrative and political, even charitable terminology, is thus similar to this migratory bird: various causes, wars, local conflicts, famines, natural disasters, climate change, wanderlust… lead him to leave his native country or country of adoption to try and find, in another country, what he needs or what he is looking for.

However distant they appear at first glance, these two notions, taking root and migrating, reveal to us, in a complementary way, what we are: the temporal migration of our lives crosses the possible geographical, undergone or chosen migrations, and we discover that in fact, we are all, in some way, migrants: it is part of our human nature.

Two essential consequences ensue from that: on the one hand, the migration of each of us, in space as well as in time, is unique and, in a way, incomparable, according to our own identity: I was born somewhere, of such and such, on a given day of the year X... On the other hand, this common nature invites us to share what we are and what we possess in a mutual hospitality: we all have something to receive from each other. That is the foundation of our "living together" which should inspire our various economic and migratory or cultural, national and European or international policies. "All of us, migrants", such is the program and the nature of the Josefa Foundation.


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