Community & Connection Spiral
We live in a spiral galaxy. Nearly seventy percent of the galaxies closest to the Milky Way are spirals. The centre of a spiral galaxy is a glowing bulge of dust and gas orbited by a rotating disk with spiral arms of brilliant stars. The centre of the bulge sometimes masks a supermassive black hole.
“The place was a wilderness of autumn gold and purple and violet blue and flaming scarlet on every side were sheaves of late lilies standing together–lilies which were white or white and ruby…Late roses climbed and hung and clustered and the sunshine deepening the hue of the yellowing trees made one feel that one stood in an empowered temple of gold.” The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett.
When I was I was sixteen I went to England for the first time, staying with different host families a few hours outside of London. I remember the gardens. Even a small yard was filled with rows of diverse colour, separated by narrow, meandering walking paths. It was such a contrast to the concrete and brick and asphalt dominating the front of the homes. I had never been in gardens that transported me beyond time and place before. The gardens offered magic and peace and escape–a refuge calming my fear of being away from home without my parents for the first time. This was when I learned that gardens were special.
A Grade 4 gives me a slip of paper at recess, a ticket to join his “elite” club with 3 of his friends. The rules are no hitting or kicking. When asked if there was a secret handshake he said, “No but we totally need one.”
We can learn from each person we meet. Teachers are everywhere when we are willing to be students. For years I’ve been a stealthy student watching and listening and reflecting, my mind a people-powered repository. Every day I reflect on my learnings: ideas and insights from experiences, conversations, and encounters.
July 2015 marks my fifth summer of living in Cobourg and working in Colborne and Brighton. My city friends often ask about what life is like outside of the GTA. The landscape is different. The culture is different. The days unfold with a lot less noise and a lot more beauty. Life in the city has its benefits too–but living in a place where the natural world is so much a part of the human world grounds me in a way that the city can’t.
Since the Oscars in February the video about the Bechdel Test has been passed around on Facebook, Twitter, and via email. To pass the Bechdel Test a story needs to have at least two female characters with names who talk to each other about something other than a man.