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Another Beautiful Day

Quarter of a Century, eh?

“She would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world.” – tribute by Adlai Stevenson to Eleanor Roosevelt, November 1962

Twenty five years for the 25th of December, eh? Ladysmith’s celebration of community and Christmas sets a standard that’s hard to beat. An outstanding effort and inspiring achievement.
Kind of makes you feel like you can do anything if you set your mind to it, doesn’t it? Just like dear old mom used to remind me.
It lets the world know that here lies an indomitable human spirit, one steeped in historical, cultural, natural and social traditions of hospitality and love for one another …as well as a common and shared wish for festivity on these darkest days of the year. It’s a spirit that cherishes the values of the past, makes an effort to share the wealth of the present, and carries the twinkle in God’s eye when looking to the future.
I have to give it to Ladysmith for capturing the essence of life, love and harmony in the simple ritual of lighting a candle. Greetings and felicitation in one whooping great swoop and sweep of humanity for one and for all! Kind of makes you feel like a merry musketeer, nothing you can’t achieve with friends at your back.
I would be remiss then if I didn’t note a striking coincidence, perhaps even subliminal messaging that has gone largely unnoticed till now. Mayhaps the underlying, nuanced inspiration for this great beginning to Ladysmith lighting up the world?
‘Tis also the 25th anniversary this year of a light bulb going on around the world, in the form of an inspired and shared wish for the very best for all of us. ‘Twas then the bonfire of Our Common Future was first lit. With a flare and glow the idea of sustainable development caught the imagination of the United Nations, corporations, communities and each of us, on how to bring the local and the world community together for the betterment of humankind.
I’ve been wondering if Ladysmith’s Committee kind of had that in mind too when they first thought up the bright idea of adorning the town in festive, jolly and community-inspiring lights?
I mean, what could be more inspiring than to save the world by helping your community, while fostering a gift to all creatures great and small – a beautiful coast, resplendent and adorned with the bounty of sustainability and stewardship. Is that the Christmas spirit or what?
One by one the world’s nations have come to the table to ponder this ploughman’s lunch for a small planet. Not the groaning board, or resplendent chef’s choice most might wish for in their turkey-stuffed Xmas dreams. But rather, a simple fare offering a nutritious and healthy economic, environmental and social meal to meet our daily needs. A tasty and wholesome feast that fills and satisfies, leaving one ready and willing to roll up their sleeves and tackle the work before us!
There are just about as many ideas on how to achieve sustainable development as there are lights on the trees of Ladysmith on this our 25th anniversary.
And that’s how I see the sparkle of new ideas taking shape, at home and around the world. We all have it in us to open our eyes and hearts to new ways to keep community and the Christmas spirit twinkling for one and all. So let’s enjoy this time together, remember what we have in common, and be warmed by the smiles and dreams we share.
And as the season approaches let me just add my thanks to Ladysmith for reaffirming faith in humankind’s best values, hopes and aspirations for the future. Good tidings of comfort and joy, eh!

Laurie has worked with environmental groups for thirty-odd years, farms 20 acres organically on Vancouver Island with life-partner Jackie Moad, enthusiastically applauds all who light up the lives of communities, be they human or nature’s …and wishes one and all a Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

About the author: Laurie Gourlay

Laurie loves organic farming.

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