Carnets du rang 5
Fragments d’un enracinement. Fragments d’un parcours.
Imprint: Les Presses de l'Université d'Ottawa
What does it mean to put down roots, to inhabit and insert oneself in a space, to make it our own, to transform it to our liking, and, in return, change under its influence? In short, what does it mean to become a habitant?
The term habitant has long been considered pejorative in Quebec: a quasi-synonym of an uncultivated, uncouth person, a country bumpkin, the French hillbilly. But wrongly so. Becoming a habitant is quite the adventure, one our forefathers undertook successfully and in an exemplary manner by building this country. There is no greater destiny than to fully inhabit a place.
This short book bears witness to this. The author, an academic with rural leanings, shares a few excerpts from his diary that put forth, in a fragmented manner, his journey of putting down roots (if we can overlook the apparent contradiction of this wording). This long journey, which covers close to half a century, could in fact have representative value, bearing witness to a moment, an era, a generation.
Can we be rooted to a place? Admittedly, we all have a journey. But is rootedness possible? And if we can become rooted to a place, a time, a community, a family, kin, then it is inevitable that sooner or later we will also be sadly uprooted.
However, traces of our presence may remain. Fragments…