My new goal is to run/walk to every street in Guelph in and around 80 days. Ambitious perhaps but doable, even for someone like me emerging out of a winter hibernation largely out of shape. While partly a fitness goal, it is also a habit-forming activity to help me deepen my sense of belonging with the place I call home.
I reckon that we simultaneously occupy two (sometimes distinct) realms of belonging – a) the social realm, includes the people we share values, memories, traditions and histories with – and b) the physical realm, includes people and objects we share space with.
The secret to cultivating a sense of belonging is to develop habits through which you merge those two geographies of belonging together. Simple activities like walking around – even with some goofy purpose like mapping out little libraries – can help you forge new memories, traditions, narratives, histories and habits with the place you call home. Trust me, I have several hometowns in 3 different continents! 🙂