Hi. I’m writing you a letter from your future. I’m your daughter, or maybe your granddaughter.
I mean of course I’m not. Obviously I’m not. But my family had a very dangerous journey to my birth country and was initially detained – not accepted at the border. I have known many families like yours, and I want to talk about way down the line – years, even decades from now.
In addition to all of the loneliness, bureaucratic terror, lack of space, and everything else, some of your best friends are waiting for you here. I promise. You will see your children learn to love it here, and that will be complicated but also amazing. This language is grammatically spare and flexible – it has always been spoken as an additional language, it is structurally welcoming even if sometimes the people who speak it are not. This place doesn’t always show its beauty easily, but it is very beautiful – my mum told me before I emigrated here that I would see shades of green here that you can’t see anywhere else. And that’s true. Sometimes, looking at rooftops and gutters, you will see greens so vibrant you have to blink.
(Because it rains too much).
But maybe that’s another way this island is welcoming – the air is soft, it’s easy on the skin, it’s almost as much water as we are.
There’s love here waiting for you.
There are people here waiting for you.
We don’t know it yet but I promise we are.
Everything heals with time. It takes time to build a home. I hope you’re one of those wonderfully skilled people who can feel at home in a place almost immediately, but if you’re not, I can still assure you that with enough time, home is waiting for you here.
The skies are like pearl here. The most ordinary light is like pearl.
There’s a quiet agreement between the greys, greens, and rusts of the landscape.
Like all countries, we’ve got more dickheads than we need, but like all countries, most of us are all right.
Eve Leigh, Folkestone, Playwright and Theatre Maker