(Day 37) On connections: colleagues, creation and creativity...
Leaving Starbucks I noticed the price of gas... "You're in BC now Lloyd" says Dwight, BC - Bring Cash! Gas in the Vancouver area is $1.29 as a result of two carbon taxes and a Skytrain tax... in Langley it is about .10 cents cheaper!
Leaving Dwight's office we headed to Pacific Institution/Regional Treatment Centre where Dwight had arranged for me to meet with Chaplains Helen Tervo and Joe Ostopowich. Helen met me at the gate and took me on a brief guided tour. The first thing I noticed was the landscaping. Flowers upon flowers, shrubs and ornamental trees so obviously cared for and appreciated by all. Such beauty, such care and attention paid to fragile petals in an otherwise harsh and unforgiving environment. Against the backdrop of vibrant Japanese Maples and verdant ornamental grasses and chain link fences are men being patted down as they move from place to place. Even the grass looked cared for - no worn pathways cutting the corners on the asphalt and interlocking brick walkways. What a positive ecological environment for both staff and inmates!
After a conversation with a few of the guys who dropped in and Mark, the Chapel Clerk, Helen and I shared in conversation, joined with Joe for about two hours. We talked about the Enhanced Partnership Model, the recent conference in Toronto, some of our best practices, the challenges and celebrations with face and enjoy, and exchanged some resources for ministry.
We wondered out loud what true partnership would look like between the faith communities and the CSC and Inter-Faith Committee. What would it look like if there were a Regional Advisory Team convened by the Regional Chaplain with a Chaplain, Contractor and IFC rep participating together to facilitate with others a vision and strategy for the region? To advise on the allocation of resources? Hmmmm? My cynicism lingers... I suggested this as part of the EPM and process and and it flopped...
|Not the actual burger |
(no cameras allowed inside)
but you get the idea!!
Joe escorted me to the gate and right on time Dwight was there to pick me up. We were off to Gibson. But first we had to stop at the house and pick up the vacum cleaner! This vacum cleaner was just about our downfall as we ended up being the second last car to get on the 2:15 crossing.
While waiting in line I struck up a conversation with the man who was in line behind us. A musician and member of Ruff Cut, he was heading to Gibson to take part in the Sea Calvacade this weekend. We spoke of my trip and his travels and my recent visit to his neck of the woods in the Interior of BC and my close encounter with a deer. Looking at the line I asked, "Are we going to get on?" "Sure." he replied, "we will." With that he returned to his car saying, "Better go, the line is moving." I was not as optimistic. It was the line next to us that was moving!
Getting in the car, Dwight looked settled in for a long wait. I told him what the guy behind us said. He confirmed what his body language said clearly, "I'm not so optimistic. We're in for a two hour wait..." The words were no sooner out of his mouth and I said, "Look, our line is moving..." We made it past the Loading Hand, only to see him stop... then let the car behind us come on as well... a high five and Dwight said something about learning something about faith from someone from the United Church... I laughed... being reminded yet again that we can often learn something... even something of faith from the strangers that we meet along the way. All it takes is the risk to engage, deep listening and humility.
Within seconds I had a reply from Ruth, the Administrative Assitant to the Warden at the Institution where I work, "I do, I do! Molly's Reach!!! Jessie, etc. It's on my bucket list to go there Lloyd!" An official Molly's Reach post card will be in the mail to you today Ruth!!
Reaching the ice-cream machine, it was broken. "Hope to have it fixed by the next crossing," said the technician. Note to self: sometimes faith will get you on the boat but the soft serve ice cream may still elude you! Häagen-Dazs ice-cream bars would have to do. Dwight enjoyed his in his seat and I savoured mine as I roamed the decks taking pictures of the beauty that surrounded me.
As we drove, Dwight shared some history of the area, pointing out some historical and geographical landmarks. Coming into Gibson we drove down onto the pier past Molly's Reach and we were "...welcomed back." After a quick stop at Tim Horton's and the local beer and wine store we made our way to Dwight and Faith's home - marked by the realtor's sign at the end of the drive-way.
Seeing their home and the view that spread out from the many window facing the water, I asked the first question that came to mind, "Why are you selling this?" Of course, I know the answer and understand fully their decision... but wow... what a beautiful home in such a beautiful setting on the Sunshine Coast... and as if on cue, the sun had come out as the ferry docked a while ago.
With the Double IPA in a glass Dwight gave me a tour of the home and grounds then we settled into the kitchen as supper was prepared. Faith shared of her new appointment and her excitement to be returning to a teaching setting that would allow her to continue to work with Dwight on the IPCA front and I shared of some of my experiences and learning thus far on the journey.
With supper prepared we moved down to the point to eat. What a lovely meal in such a beautiful place with people I am so privileged to call friends! Thank you. The mushroom risotto, the beans, salad and sokeye salmon were all wonderful - as was the company and conversation!
As supper concluded I was starting to feel a bit of a buzz. I confess now, I was embarrassed. One beer, whats with that!?! Must not have had enough food in my stomach. It was weird. I am so glad it was Dwight to unfortunately dropped one of the beautiful bread plates. I would have been mortified! I did manage to make two trips up from the point with dishes and leftovers... and with things put away we were in the car about to drive into Gibsons.
In the car, Faith asked me how I like the beer. "Very tasty," was my reply. Somehow the question was asked what the alcohol content was, and in a New York minute, Faith was in the house and then back in the car with a huge smile on her face. 8.5% alcohol (for those of you non-beer drinkers, a "normal beer" has between 4% and 5% alcohol content). No wonder I was feeling a buzz! We laughed about that for the rest of the evening as we strolled around Gibsons.
In Gibsons I had my picture taken in front of Molly's Reach - just as I remember it... except in grainier RCA colour!
A walk down the promenade and back onto the dock brought us to Liz's houseboat. A floating garden!! Liz works at the local thrift store and lives here next to Bill from Bathurst, NB who lives on a 1911 Tug Boat.
What open and gracious people. Liz shared some stories of work at the Thrift Store, Bill spoke of how he came to arrive in BC from New Brunswick and before we knew it almost an hour had passed. Leaving the pier I suggested dessert and Faith and Dwight indulged me but did not partake - except for a taste each of my Black Berry Pie and Ice Cream. Dwight had to save room for a Gelato!
Returning to the house I soon headed down to my room where I took some time to jot some notes from the day and ponder all that had been. Dwight had pointed out two unique trees on the property: a Monkey Tree and an Arbutus Tress. The banana tree regenerates itself each other and grows 10 to 12 feet. The Arbutus tree is unique to the BC costal area and is a broadleaf evergreen tree, up to 30 metres tall, usually with a crooked or leaning trunk that divides into several twisting upright branches and an irregularly rounded crown (BC Forestry Department).
...on the Sabbath Road...