2021 Highlights: Week 21

Some ups and downs this week. It was a cloudier, rainier week again and I didn’t take a lot of pictures as we spent a lot of time inside. Here are some good things:

  • We had ice cream for dessert one evening (not a common occurrence around here) and the girls promptly scurried out back to enjoy it in their playhouse:
  • This picture that Pearl took of Peter and I, making it look like we are in the middle of an extremely intense conversation:
  • I’m not a big movie person, much to my husband’s chagrin. Watching an entire movie in a single sitting is something of a feat in our household but we accomplished it this week when we watched In the Mood for Love. This one was actually my suggestion as I’d heard it was set in Hong Kong and heavily featured food. It’s a slow, thoughtful movie and so beautifully shot. There were scenes were I swear I knew exactly how that scene would smell. Plus, the main female character wears dozens of beautiful cheongsams that were fun to watch.
  • This quote from the poem “Notice” by Steve Kowit:

Take heed you who read this

+ drop to your knees now + again

like the poet Christopher Smart

+ kiss the earth + be joyful

+ make much of your time

+ be Kindly to everyone,

even to those who do not deserve it.

  • The Summer 2021 Goals List that I helped Pearl and Rose create:
  • Making sure I don’t try to pre-heat the oven while making yogurt!
  • Some hopeful news for our provincial COVID numbers. Hospitalizations and deaths are declining. On Tuesday, the province announced our restart plan which is slow and steady and will hopefully have us returning to normal life in early September. It’s a slow plan with a few stages but I’m actually thankful for that and grateful to have steady leadership that isn’t rushing forward too quickly. There are some things to look forward to now for the summer and hopefully we will continue to see infection rates fall and vaccination rates rise!
  • A lower-than-usual tide on Saturday meant an extra fun afternoon at the beach. The girls had so much fun running along the sand, spotting sea creatures exposed by the tide. A lot of starfish were “rescued” by Pearl and Rose! I love seeing their interest and care for the natural world around them. It was also our first paddle board of the year! (Psst! My husband made that board!)

This is very far from a highlight but I think it’s important to mention. This week in British Columbia, the bodies of 215 children were found at the site of a former residential school. (You can read more about it from the CBC here.) 215 children who were taken from their families, most likely by force, definitely under coercion. 215 children whose lives were ended due to racism and prejudice. 215 families who most likely never knew what happened to their children. Some of the bodies found were children as young as 3 and every time I try and sit with this knowledge for longer than a moment, I am reduced to tears. And I don’t want to make this about me because I am not an Indigenous person and this is not my story and you don’t have to be a parent of young children to be heartbroken by this news. But as Canadians, I believe it’s so important for us to face this and acknowledge the horrors of what was done and was legally sanctioned by our country. This particular school closed in 1969. The effects of these crimes are far-reaching and very much still present in our communities.

11 thoughts on “2021 Highlights: Week 21”

  1. The story of the children in British Colombia made the news here and made me realise how similar out country’s histories are when it comes to how our Indigenous people were treated.

    1. I didn’t realize it made news outside of Canada. It’s so awful that this kind of treatment is found all over the world.

    2. I don’t usually watch the news but happened to be in the room and saw it. I know television stations get to pick and choose what is news and what isn’t and suspect that they knew this would resonate with Australians because of our similar histories. While it is awful, I am glad that we recognise it as being awful and now do better (with improvements still required).

    3. Part of what’s so horrifying is how unsurprising it is. This is just the first of over 100 residential schools countrywide to undertake this unearthing. I am glad that it’s being done and I hope that it is the root of further change in our country.

  2. The story made the news here too – truly shocking. Like you, I can barely think of it without being reduced to tears, maybe because of my time working with boys who were often in residential accommodation where, even yet, awful things can happen without the authorities seeming to notice. Children died back then and let’s hope these children died of natural causes rather than cruelty, but it’s the idea of them simply being buried with no funeral and no record – written off and forgotten.

    1. I’ve been surprised that it made international headlines but I think it’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s too easy for Canada to hide or ignore our racist past (and present). The idea of the lack of record, of the fact that their families probably never knew what happened to them, is so heartbreaking. I hope at the very least this can provide closure for some families.

  3. I didn’t see the story when it made the news over here, but over the last few years similar stories have come out about a few residential facilities here – truly heartbreaking. I hope that as these terrible things come to light we can learn from them globally (because similar things have happened in so many countries) and do much better to protect vulnerable children in the future.

    1. I hope so too. And I hope that this can bring better understanding about the trauma our Indigenous communities are still dealing with.

  4. If you think about the school closing in 1969 and compare to family members, it’s a gut punch. Biscuit was ten when this school closed, for example.

    I can’t believe Peter made that paddle board. Has he been woodworking for long? Lots of woodworking books have been leaving the library lately. Perhaps it’s a pandemic hobby some folks are taking up?

    1. It turns out the school switched to a day school after 1969 and didn’t actually fully close until 1978. What got me was seeing interviews with survivors of the school and realizing they are younger than my parents. Those kids should be alive currently. It’s so awful and the best thing I can say is that I hope it can be channeled into a true wake up call for our country.

      The paddle board was Peter’s first foray into that sort of woodworking. He did it with a lot of help from a more experienced friend and it took a couple of years working on and off in our carport. This was a pre-pandemic project but I could definitely see woodworking being a thing more people are taking up now.

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