Politics and place attachment

 Inside Breithaupt Park. Getting a photo of the perimeter of the park from the expressway is a tad difficult.

Inside Breithaupt Park. Getting a photo of the perimeter of the park from the expressway is a tad difficult.

"Would you run for office where you live? The truth is, you have to be incredibly dedicated to your town to want to, but once you're elected, there's an enormous place attachment effort (p. 185)."

Yup.

Ever since putting my name forward to run to become a city councillor I've become even more connected to Waterloo and its surrounding communities. I'm already very involved in and committed to this community and I have fallen even more in love with its people and places while running for city council.

Many of the people I meet are quick to share what they love about this community. The people I hope to represent especially love the parks and mature trees in and around Ward 5.

So do I. 

Still, it wasn't until last night on my drive home from the grocery store, which is a drive I have made countless times, that I really noticed, or rather felt, Breithaupt Park's tree line. I was stunned by its beauty and magnitude. I've spent a lot of time walking our dog through that forest, playing on the playground there, and I've driven by the park countless times. Still, it had never before taken my breath away.

I believe I can win this election and become Ward 5's next city councillor. Regardless of the outcome, though, this journey will be worth it in so many ways, especially in the subtle ways it is deepening my attachment to this place. 

Are there any places where you live that take your breath away?

This post was originally posted on jenvasic.ca in July 2018 as part of a chapter-by-chapter review of the book “This is where you belong: Finding home wherever you are.” That website no longer exists, but I have migrated the posts here