Merry Christmas to all! This is often the day that kids look forward to (besides their birthday or Hanukkah) all year round. Happy Kwanza to all! We made it through the longest night of the year, and there are only six days left until the new year of 2016. I always like even-numbered years more than odd-numbered years. Don’t ask me why. Well, you could ask me why, but I wouldn’t know the answer. Odd events are something that I like, so I don’t know where the odd number phobia comes from. I was born in an odd year, so perhaps it is that.
Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is soon to release the final report, which is an historical account of what happened to an estimated 150,000 Indigenous children forcibly removed from their homes and placed in Canada’s residential schools. This is based on testimony heard in more than 300 communities over six years, from more than 6,000 Indigenous women and men, who were at residential schools.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed to implementing all the recommendations. Perhaps out of all that pain will finally come some justice.
The Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/solstice holidays are sometimes a difficult time for people. I know that I have written about this before, but it is known as a challenging time for many of us. In the past, a few people have thanked me for writing about this, so here I go again.
If you think that your neighbours or acquaintances might be “down” at this time of year, don’t be shy about checking in with them, dropping off some treats, or inviting them for an event. Sometimes people may be so affected by this season, that they may not even answer a knock on the door.
We have had many deaths this past month, so an extra smile may do wonders. I often walk around with my dog Ewok (I know, another dog story), but sometimes people are so grateful for a “hello”, that they just beam.
I have had many reticent folks even say to my dog, “I love you!” So remember to spread some extra cheer during this holiday season. You may never know just how much that may mean to someone who is down in the dumps at this time of the year.
The new year of 2016 will be very interesting for Canada politically. I have had so many conversations on-island with people who are optimistic about the federal government making a difference in the world.
What has come out of the Paris climate summit also means that we as individuals also need to do our part to make our corner of the planet more ecologically aware. We can see our “foot print” clearer on these islands, as usually what we do is evident very clearly or soon.
I am thinking about deer carcasses on the beach, plastic litter, and what we see on the streets and paths we walk on. Life is more “in our face” on Haida Gwaii, because we can’t get away from ourselves, or anyone else.
People do at times get “bushed”, and we have to go away, even if it is just to Prince Rupert, to do nothing but go to the movies and do some shopping in a store whose staff do not know who we are.
I hope that you get well-rested, and if you are working, such as I shall be doing, thank you for working when many others have holidays. May your new year be a positive one. Perhaps each of us could do an act of random kindness for someone, especially if it anonymous, because sometimes that is the best gift we can give or receive. Happy New Year! The Year of the Monkey starts on February 8th, 2016.
See you next year. Please get your news to me by 2 p.m. on Thursdays, by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org