Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Shining a light into our eyes

Catching up with an old friend this week, through the miracle of the internet, I was saddened to hear a nightmarish tale from a young lady (well, not so young anymore...) whom I had much admired for her good cheer, and ability to make anyone laugh despite their mood. Never shirking her own duties, she nevertheless always found time to make sure the stress we encountered would be lessened by her endless funny remarks. Looking back I can see that her philosophy was obviously to celebrate life as a great gift bestowed upon us, and to not become ungrateful for that blessing. She never said as much, but her actions regularly spoke for her.

From that cheerful heart came a letter filled with despair. I hope I'm not betraying a confidence by quoting a last line:

"I miss Vancouver so much. A place I wish I never had left."

She's not doing so well back home in Asia. Lots of danger in living where she's living; she returned home to find a much worse situation than before she left to live here in BC for a few years.

We in Canada live in such a secluded fantasyland, we often forget how lucky we are, and how grateful we should be for the comparable paradise in which we find ourselves.

Today in Vancouver, British Columbia, the weather is beautiful; sunshine, warmth, calm winds and clear skies. Somewhere someone is worrying whether or not they will be killed today, simply for wanting to turn their home into a little bit more like our Canada.
It's hard to imagine their fears, when the sun is shining in your eyes, and your biggest problem revolves around paying off a credit card debt.

It sometimes takes only the quietest of whispers to make the biggest noise, to bestir our consciences and re-awaken our Canadian tradition of valuing freedom; yet who has time to hear these soft notes when we fill our lives with useless noise and carefree tunes that drown out the world crying around us.
Sometimes the smallest of lights can shine in our eyes and penetrate the blinders we impose upon ourselves, as we vainly summon the nerve to feel sorry for ourselves in a world much more sorrowful than we, besotted with our liberties, our minds dulled by ingratitude, could ever imagine existing outside our borders.

This morning I thank God for having been born in Canada, seeing my blessing with a clarity of perception made all the clearer by having had a small, tiny light flash before my eyes, courtesy of a young lady forced to live a life in fear.


zazie said...

After all, in spite of all our griefs and fears, we in France are still lucky too....I don't know your Asian friend of course, she is just a dim figure in my subconscious ; yet, tonight I'll send up alittle prayer for her ; will you please send her sincere wishes from France ?

zazie said...

It is me again, and quite off-topic ! Do you have news of Rick Darby ? Do you know which part of California he is touring ? We have had terrifying pictures of the fires in Southern California !

Charles Henry said...

Thank you, Zazie, that's a very nice gesture on your part. Let me assure you that she is well worth it. Your child is luckiest of us all, to have a mother so filled with compassion for others that she can so generously offer to share it with strangers. I wish more conservative writers and broadcasters were aware of voices like yours, and the France that is still worth fighting for. I've totally lost all patience with the "to heck with France" comments that get tossed my way. We have an expression here, the "heartland" of the nation; France has a "heartland" as we do, and it is as frustrated and resolute as our is. I hear its voice in their blogs, I read those "cri de coeurs", and I won't stop pointing out the good that still reside in La France.

At the risk of sounding ignorant, I'm afraid to admit that I've never heard of Rick Darby... we don't have television, so I get my news from radio and the internet, and hadn't been following the fire story.

dag said...

Hi Zazie.

I know Rick slightly, though I haven't corresponded with him for quite some time. I suspect he'd be very safe in California even with the fires raging there as they are. There's a great deal of property damage, of course, but only the very smallest number of people are hurt or killed in such episodes, and those are usually firefighters.

If you find Rick, please pass on my best wishes. (And to you, Zazie.)

Rick Darby said...


Not to worry. I've never heard of me either.


Hello again! Yes, long time. Thanks for your concern. I was as close to the southern California fires as I want to get, and could see the smoke, but was safe.

I posted a couple of items about my California visit at Reflecting Light.