Many Canadians have been and continue to be deeply troubled
by the growing fear and hatred in our neighbours to the south.

Phrases such as “It wouldn’t happen here”
… “Discrimination is not part of the Canadian ideology”
… “Religious intolerance is not part of who we are”
… Hatred is not part of our history
are often spoken with deep compassion and concern
for countries where such things are happening.
And then it happened here.

But …
inside a Mosque in Quebec last night, people were praying.
Before they realized what was happening,
shooting erupted,
people lay dead and injured
and Canadians are beginning to realize that
… it is happening here
… there is discrimination in this country
… religious intolerance exists.
… hatred has been and continues
And yes, terrorism happens here, too.

Is any place safe these days?
… schools are not.
… universities are not.
… hospitals are not.
… marathons are not.
… sport events are not.
… homes are not.
… religious buildings are not.
… shopping centres / malls are not.
And the fear grows.
And the intolerance spreads.
And the hatred grows.
And the finger-pointing escalates,
And the “us and them” language develops its own life.

And in the midst of it all,
… weddings happen
… lives are celebrated
… babies are conceived
… lives are extended because of medical intervention
… children laugh and play
… elders share their wisdom and experience,
… musicians and photographers and dancers and painters and thespians and calligraphers
and potters and activists and weavers and chefs and carpenters and fabric artists
and knitters and landscape artists and writers and …
continue to awaken the creative spirit
continue to touch the soul
continue to inspire the mind.

We can choose whether we focus on the negative and the frightening
or we focus on the positive and the hopeful, the joyful.
We can choose to see ourselves
entering the birth of the tomb
or entering the birth of the womb.

Do we allow events such as
… the attack this day in Ste. Foy, Quebec
… decisions being made by the incumbent leader of the country to the south
… etc.
focus our attention on the death knell of life?

Or do we let those events and decisions motivate us
so that we get involved
and anticipate new life emerging from the struggles?

My spirit grieves for what has happened in my country this day:
… for the lives that were lost
… and for the lives that have been grievously changed as a result.

May the souls of the departed, rest in peace
and may we not give away our ability to choose whether or not
we will face each tomorrow
with hopeful expectation/anticipation
… even if it is only
Just A Little Bit.


Photo and Text © june maffin

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