They came in their ships like angels from heaven; like a crashing wave, they came rushing in. Bringing with them shining ornaments and tempting eye candies, they lured the heads to roll off their bodies and soon the seeds uprooted were planted below the decks of their ships. Cramped together like sardines in a tin, chained one to another like charms on a bracelet, they sailed away with the pride of the land, never to return to the life they were born to live. On the journey to forever, the seed with a little rot is thrown into the sea: the end of the road for one who never had the journey in their plans. In those times, they took from their homes those who didn’t want to leave, they took them kicking and screaming, separating children from parents, brothers from sisters, husbands from wives. They took them from their lands and out of their borders and in through borders that didn’t seem to mind: the borders received them with open arms, no, the borders didn’t mind.
The ships are sailing again, from shore to shore, moving bodies like luggage on a carousel. Like a bad memory, seeds are on the move again, below decks and some hanging on sails, cramped together like sardines in a tin, but unchained and free to decide if the journey is worth the risk. To the same borders that once received those that never wanted to come, these ones are sailing and not thinking twice. Like the journey before, some are lost on the way, some reach the shores, others are only washed to shore. In these times, the seeds left their lives and all that they knew and owned and loved on a journey to the unknown and they didn’t seem to mind, if only the borders before them would welcome them with open arms . . . but this time, the borders are kicking and screaming, the borders are building walls. The borders are complaining ever so tirelessly that they’re bursting at the seams. These same borders that swallowed those who were dragged in kicking and screaming, are kicking and screaming at those who now want to come in willingly.
So goes the tale of two borders and the seas in-between.
I wrote the piece above in 2015 after I came across the picture of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, all over the internet. It is such a heartbreaking experience for refugees fleeing their countries, hoping for a better life but never ever reaching it. At that time, Immigration was a hot topic in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom with the BREXIT referendum at hand, and as I listened to so many people share their opinions about immigration and migrants as a whole, I realised then how much history has failed the world and how we never really do learn the lessons we should. Now in the southern American border, children a being separated from their parents all in a bid to tackle the immigration crisis, and once again, history fails us all.
I have no political response for the things happening in the world today, but as someone who considers myself a migrant on planet earth (yes, home can only be in Heaven), I know there can only be one response: COMPASSION. The day we stop treating each other in the ways we ourselves hope to be treated, that’s that day we completely lose our humanity.
So look at the person sitting or standing next to you, if you ever think that they’re less deserving of life and love, of respect and dignity . . . or of a place to call their own . . . I’ll be praying for you!