Invitation to July 1, 2021
Reading through Canadian headlines as we approach July 1 this year, I am glad to see the discussion and action happening around ‘Canada Day’. Many of the voices in the headlines are an invitation to reflect. It is simplistic to frame Canada Day as an either (hold it) or (cancel it) decision. Bad choices both, to simply cancel or go on as if nothing has happened. The reduction to two stark possibilities does an injustice, a disservice to us all.
While there are differing opinions that threaten to further divide and enflame tensions, there is also a growing recognition that we have been changed in the fires of the past two years. Something important is happening. It is time for us to look back and reflect on where we have been and how we come to this point in our shared history of Canada. What we will become is just unfolding. We make choices today that create the future. Each choice is deeply personal yet with the power to help shape the change that is wanted. Especially when the change that is wanted is named. I want to live in a world that acts as if all life is a precious gift, fleeting, wonderous and irreplaceable, because it is. I want to live in a world with equal rights and fair systems for everyone. I want to live in a world where we appreciate our deep interconnections and where decisions are made for the wellbeing of the children who will come after us, for generations. Act as if all life matters and it becomes truth.
As a country we are just beginning to recover hundreds of bodies of children killed by ignorance, greed, cruelty and hate, that is still with us. This is a turning point, not a time to turn away. Ultimately, we each decide now what is important, and what are we willing to do to support the process of life and living. It is a deeply personal and daily choice.
There are more hard days ahead. It is likely that the hundreds of Indigenous children will become thousands. What is there but grief and grieving through the recovery that will stretch out over the coming months? What is there to do but stand quiet in solidarity with the mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, aunties and uncles, grandparents and cousins? We can create space for the loss and let the heavy weight of a shared grief work on us, bring us together, continue to change and shape us. Something important is happening. If we let it. If we take it in and support each other. If we have the courage to wait for, and trust, the inevitable stirring of new life that follows death. Grace can come when we finally stop struggling against the past. Truth before reconciliation.