-13.2 C
Niagara Falls
Friday, February 3, 2023
Writer’s Circle: A reflection on visiting Vancouver Island


I stood in an ancient forest and placed my hand on an 800-year-old tree. I felt its life. A force of peace and healing flowed into me. I felt my soul reciprocate and my love entered the tree, as though it needed me as much as I needed it.

I’ve known this relationship with trees before. They are more… what… sentient? Is that too strange? Present…aware? More than we dream.

A young photographer in Tofino, someone who came from our own Niagara farm country, said he was called to ‘bear witness’ to the land there. ‘Bear witness’, an ancient and powerful religious expression. Perhaps from his Mennonite background. Its meaning – to show that something exists or is true.

What was he bearing witness to in his photographs? The existence of a beauty that most of us have not seen. The truth of its being and its vulnerability. I suppose he thought if we simply knew the truth of these old forests, these mountains, the life in these seas, that we would naturally protect them. That we would see that our continued existence is only worthwhile, perhaps only possible, if these places continue to exist.

I was ill on the trip — a frightening reaction to a prescription drug, that took me in and out of emergency rooms and pharmacies.

I would rather have experienced this beautiful place healthy, but I wonder if my sense of vulnerability allowed me to understand better humanity’s smallness and powerlessness to do good. To acknowledge the poison that flows in the veins of our society. To seek healing.

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