Taking root

August 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm 3 comments

Moving to Montreal was stressful for me, and the ways that stress manifested itself surprised me. For example, I became extremely concerned about the moment of border crossing, when I’d be coming to Canada as a “visitor,” bringing with my all my worldly possessions. I wasn’t doing anything illegal, but on a 6-month visitor visa, you’re not supposed to be coming to settle permanently. That’s what permanent residency is for. Which I’ve applied for, and am waiting on. Meanwhile, I’m “visiting.” Visiting for 8 weeks at a time, as I keep heading back to Cambridge to get prescription refills and meet with my advisor. Indefinitely “visiting.”

In any case, this was stressful enough to figure out a way to cross the border with Jean-Luc separately from the moving van, so it would look less strange to say I was “visiting.” A friend drove us up the day before, and we went through with her carload of things, while Jonathan and his family stayed another night in Cambridge to finish packing up the truck, and to leave at the crack of dawn for the long haul.

This was also stressful enough to make me worry about bringing contraband across the border. Alcohol is strictly limited to 1.14 liters per person, so I gave away all of my booze to my knit night (you’re welcome, guys). Soil is forbidden, so I threw away my bag of potting soil. Unless you get an expensive phytosanitary certificate from the government, the only plants allowed are cut flowers not intended for propagation, so I gave away my houseplants, even the one made from cutting of my great-grandmother’s christmas cactus.

And what I’m about to say is entirely hypothetical, and does not have any bearing on me…

…but if one were particularly attached to your houseplants, one might be able to bring cuttings in a small bag in one’s backpack, and start rooting them in a different country.

And if one were to do such a thing, and if the plants were particularly hardy and eager to grow, they might take root in this new country with striking speed and ease, making their owner, feeling a bit uprooted herself, both envious and optimistic.




I guess you just need to want to grow.


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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kate  |  August 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Best of luck to you in your new soil, friend. 🙂

  • 2. Helix  |  August 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Sometimes house plants are just as important as personal items. You’ve nurtured and grown said plant, or perhaps have been given it as a gift from a family member. No one could begrudge that “bond”.

    So if anyone does ever take cuttings with them on their next exciting life journey, I truly wish them the best of luck and hope they take.

  • 3. New Growth | Spin, spin, spin  |  March 1, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    […] of you readers might remember a post in the summer, where the cockles of my heart were warmed by the eagerness of my houseplants to brave the […]


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