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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The place of Harmony

The opportunity to spend sometime with my parents and some of my children in a place that offers solitude came knocking at our door. Over the weekend I and some of our children went to Malcolm Island to visit my parents while they were on a vacation retreat. We first stopped in at a friends house in Port McNeil where she made us a wonderful homemade soup and cornbread. I haven't had cornbread since I was a child! It was "yummy!" Unfortunately it was too short of a visit because we were off to catch the ferry. Malcolm Island is an Island with a community called Sointula. Meaning the place of harmony. When I was there I was reading some of Sointula's history. In the nineteenth century a group of Finns wanted to design a community where the property was communal, everyone shared and everyone was equal. They believed in sound body, sound mind. Now the people who stayed turned Sointula into a commercial fishing destination. Most of the homes were bright in color and over one hundred years old, the little place we stayed in looked over Port McNeil. My Step dad was a fisherman all his life and knew many people on the Island that still commercial fishes today. There was a 80 year old fisherman who reminded my Mom of my Uncle Al by the name of Al who owns the Marine Tarkanen ways. This Al explained that there is school bus boats transferring students to and from school. Although there was different boats for Caucasian and Native children because they didn't get along. For a short period of time I was shocked (if true) because if anything I would think that steps would have been made to integrate. Sometimes life baffles me. My husband's Grandfather owned the ship yard on Alert Bay, that's where my husband's Mother grew up. The history fascinates me. When we were living up North I saw first hand on how different Native Bands didn't get along, everyone including the Mennonites to "hill-billies" clashed while attending the same Country school. To keep children safe, different buses would come from the different communities. It just reminded me that our pasts aren't a simple fix. As I contemplated possible facts I heard and history I learned while away; I wondered about the communities that are still maintaining a shared living. My limited knowledge on this is the sharing community openly borrows everything and anything regardless if the lenders are home or not. Eventually the item borrowed is returned. I think this is a good concept if it was already your adapted way of life. Just like the families that can all live together in one home. Economically this makes sense in such a expensive world but our society pushes for independence. Mmmm......well anyone who knows me, knows I think A-LOT about absolutely everything. I seem to feed of stories, peoples experiences and knowledge. I try to develop understanding for everything because I've learned with understanding comes acceptance. I've always believed with acceptance comes compassion. (It's like a step by step process just like our feelings) So when I think about the separate boats and buses that transfer different children to and from their communities, I understand that sometimes the reality is keeping the peace by separation. We're all different. Every time I go somewhere I'm learning and recognizing this is how our world integrates - together but on separate boats because sharing doesn't work for everyone. We don't have to travel far to understand that we all live differently. Like the house above, someone lives there simply enjoying nothing but the movement of tides. In conclusion our weekend was interestingly relaxing looking over the lights of Port McNeil while full of education not only for me but some of our children. On our way home we seen two wolves up close with a wolf rescuer and visited with my other parents. We met their new Boston Terrier puppy and headed home. A place that isn't exactly a shared living nor floating on water but a place I would say inviting for all, a home of harmony with tense and relaxed moments with only one ride.

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