Column: Moved by people working in quiet ways

Jane Reddington

Sounder Staff

Tuesday, July 12 2016

Last week I had the chance to meet several volunteers with the Lions Club who are working to raise money to help the community and ensure the Gabriola is the very best it can be. Spending time at the garden at the Medical Clinic I had several surreal moments, as I sat outside on the benches, (something I’ve never done before) and looked on our gorgeous clinic, and I thought I can’t believe this is here on our island. It is so magnificent and so well done, and that’s just on the outside. The work that goes on inside, as the doctors, paramedics, nurses, social workers, and administrators is just too good to be true. Then there’s the helipad that brings help and speed for critical care. It really offers us the best care in every possible way.

Then I drove down the hill, past the firehall, with the dedication to Albert J. Reid, and I thought, “can this island really get any better?” So many improvements have been made since I moved here in 2005, so much has changed, but the heart of the island has stayed the same. People doing good things because it feels good and right. The small things we do, whether parenting our children, helping improve the quality of medical services, right down to the grasses and lavender in the parking lot, this makes our island such a unique and plentiful place to live.

Yes, we have issues with the ferries, and wait times in summer, with the rain that can never be counted on to water our plants, with the deer on the road, and the turkeys at the cross walk. There are times when it feels like we are so far from the rest of the world, from urban life. But in the scheme of things, this is good. It’s good for us to tough it out sometimes, to have to wait for two hours in the ferry line to get home before a long weekend because when we get home, all is well. 

It reminds me to be grateful. To be aware of all we have here. To be kind to everyone because everyone is trying their best. When I go to the gas station for my daily ice-cream fix, and find my favourite sandwich at Mad Rona’s, I can’t help but be reminded of all we have here. I can drive for two minutes and meet the ocean. The water with high and low tides reminds me that things are ever changing but somethings do stay the same.

And when I meet volunteers who give with their whole hearts, who try their best to create some peaceful corner on our island, or an event that will be remembered for years to come, all seems right in the world. I feel like we have the very best at our fingertips. I would like to say thank you to all the island’s volunteers for the big and small ways you make this the very best place to live. We are so lucky to have you here, urging us on, to be better and contribute our best to each other. Thank you.