What would I be like if there’d been no migration into the places I’ve lived?
I wouldn’t have played with children from homes with utterly different ways of doing things, some of which impressed me. I might not have asked myself why things happened as they did in my home, noticed what we were doing and tried to understand why.
I wouldn’t have learnt early that people give different explanations for this world, and all with equal sincerity. I might not have needed to find out more. I might not have seen the possibility of drawing my own conclusions.
I wouldn’t have spent time with young people who viewed education and ambition with so much optimism that there was enough for me to borrow. I might have followed a more obvious path.
I may never have heard of the poems and stories and songs shared with me by friends with different heritages. I would not have been inspired by them. Ideas I treasure, have knitted into my own thinking, would not be there. And I wouldn’t have cared about the places in which those ideas developed. I might never have travelled so far.
And if, despite all that, this version of me did write, what would she be writing?