The cover photo was taken at the Komasket Music Festival that was held near Vernon on native land. With no drinking, no drugs and no beer garden surrounded by a fence it was a delight to attend. Many vendors served healthy food and organic coffee was donated by Canterburys Coffee Corp. and sold by volunteers as a fund raiser. Many other local companies donated food so the performers and staff could have food on-site. North Valley Frameworks was given a tribute for putting in long, late hours making sure the stages were ready. Lots of effort was also put into the kids’ festival, where we sometimes sat enjoying the magic that happens when so many talented artists perform.
I chose this image because it merges the old and the new... the many orbs can only be seen with a digital camera and the tipis are a majestic reminder of the past. The bright orange dot in the center of the image was the moon, colored by the forest fires burning in the Okanagan and by the intense heat of the August long weekend. It was great to take a few days off and enjoy the festivities, including the networking, seeing the latest fashions on all the young people and listening to high-quality world-beat music, as well as having some quality time with Richard.
Jennifer Steed has been the primary cook this summer at the Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center for which I am grateful. Her husband Doug is a great help with all the major projects that Richard loves doing. I am enjoying and appreciating their steady energy along with the presence of their delightful four-year-old, Olivia, who radiates total joy, honesty and a willingness to work on any project. I have always been intrigued by the quote “It takes a village to raise a child” - and now I get to see the philosophy put into action.
Jennifer is a multi-talented mom, a massage therapist, yoga and ecstatic dance instructor who just finished recording some mantras that she chants to a catchy tune. I am so pleased that my visioning last November in my Musing column worked so well....when I asked for a couple to help out. Now I am visioning another couple joining us for we are building our third green house and could use some gardeners. My hopes are high that our community is finally starting to grow and we will attract reliable people, who can guide the volunteers as they come and go.
Since I have not been around many young kids since I raised mine I have been musing to myself ... “Did I act like Olivia at four-years old?” It is good for me to see the loving, patient responses she gets to all of her questions. During our recent family reunion I also watched my two sons and their wives, who have two children each, be better parents than I think I was. I made sure my kids had healthy food, set clear boundaries, provided them with lots of play time while allowing them room to be themselves. Looking back, I realize that I did not have the parenting skills of an older mom but I do remember not wanting to repeat some of our family patterns so I asked them to tell me if I ever started acting like my Mom. Several times they did remind me that I was using guilt to get them to do what I wanted. When that happened, we had a few productive conversations and came up with solutions that worked for both sides.
Young people are so smart. Watching these young ones being raised gives me hope that as they mature they will have enough self-esteem to be strong and creative. They are inheriting a troubled planet and will need to take back control of our economy and develop a better way of creating structure, sustainability and living in peace while eating healthy food.
We seem to have entered a kind of sci-fi film scenario like ‘The Matrix’ where freedom is being dramatically restricted without us even knowing it or at least not the majority. Many are being conditioned into thinking mandatory vaccination is the best way to protect against the swine flu virus. I hope people educate themselves and refuse to obey. The website, www.anhcampaign.org has lots of facts or you can join an organization like HANS, (the Health Action Network Society) a BC group that has been around for over thirty years advocating for preventive care. www.hans.org.
We vote with every dollar we spend, and if everyone stopped supporting Big Pharm and other large corporations they would disappear as does the little stores when we stop shopping at them. The choice is ours and there are many groups striving to make our government accountable, including Greenpeace and the Council of Canadians.
Life is wonderful, living in Canada is an honor, and I enjoy being able to work as much as I do so that changes can happen as we shift into the next era of understanding ourselves.