Tuesday, August 30, 2016
I met Matthew Fox a few years ago when the Gaia Centre in West Guilford hosted him at their place. Mathew holds a doctorate in spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris. He has written 32 books on spirituality and contemporary culture. He said many things when he was here, but the one thing I remember is “if the only prayer you ever say is thank you, it’s enough.” I love that. Say thank you on a regular basis.
As the summer gently winds it’s way towards Labour Day weekend and the start of school and fall routines, I think it is important that as a community we collectively say thank you to each other for the summer that we just had. There are many ways one could do this. My daughter just came home from camp and they participated in several activities that were ways of saying thank you to each other at the end of the week. The group sat in a circle with everyone facing outwards. Half the group was asked to come into the middle of the circle. The camp leader then went on to say “tap someone on the shoulder who inspired you this week. Tap someone on the shoulder who was kind. Tap someone on the shoulder who loaned you something that you forgot etc.” Our community could do this. “Tap someone on the shoulder who stopped and let you cross the street. Tap someone on the shoulder who volunteered and ran an event that we all benefited from. Tap someone on the shoulder who shared their dock and waterfront with you on a hot day.” We have so much to be thankful for and so many people to appreciate.
And then I have been thinking that we could adapt this end of summer ritual, to also be a start of fall ritual. The community could form a big circle around (for example) all the of Sir Sandford Fleming students to welcome them and tell them how glad we are that they have chosen to come to live and attend school in our community. We could look them in eyes and tell them that they are important and that we care about their experience. We could tell that how we will take care of them with our services and kindness.
This summer I worked with a man who was attending the School of Arts & Design for his 16th year. He takes the same instrument building course every year with his 4 buddies. They rent a cottage, they eat out and they attend the theatre. These new students that arrive this fall have the potential to be the tourists, cottagers and business owners of the future in our county. And they will bring their family and friends with them. People want to live and vacation where they are appreciated and thanked and taken care of.
I’d like to tap Owen Duhaime on the shoulder for his exceptional customer service for the past 2 years. You have made us feel welcome every day. We will miss you. All the best on your fall adventures. Come back and visit often.