Trent Ernst, Editor
Fall has always been a time of thoughtful introspection, a looking back at what has been accomplished this year, a chance to take stock of the year before the head goes down in the face of winter. A children’s rhyme for Guy Fawkes Day implores us to “Remember, Remember the fifth of November”, and, of course, November 11 is Remembrance Day.
There are other things that are to be remembered, not the least of which is how, just one month ago, we were in the midst of one of the most perfect autumn’s ever. While technically winter doesn’t start until December 21 (or December 1, depending on whether you’re listening to the astronomers or the meteorologists), it is safe to say that we have left the warm season, and moved into a time where the world (or at least, this corner of it) has taken up its white mantel and settled in for a long winter.
Over at the high school, teens are remembering Amanda Todd and other people, some they knew personally, who have killed themselves because of bullying, or family problems, or just because life didn’t seem like it was worth continuing at the time.
For me, it is a time to remember that not everyone is as fortunate as I am. A time to remember to give back to the community.
For the last four years, my company, Eye For Detail Photography, has raised money and awareness for the local foodbank by running a Fotos for Foodbank Fundraiser. In exchange for a cash donation (minimum $30) and a non-perishable food item, we do a 15 minute photo session with you, your kids, or, if you really like, photos of your favourite teddy bear. (Pets, alas, are not allowed, as the shoot happens at Fern’s Finery Café at the Golf Course.)
There’s a quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer that I love. It goes like this: “So long as we eat our bread together, we shall have sufficient even for the least. Not until one person desires to keep his own bread for himself does hunger ensue.”
Bonhoeffer was a German theologian who was born in the early 1900s who is probably best known for his vocal opposition to the Nazis leading up to the Second World War. During the war itself, he became embroiled in a plot to assassinate Hitler, which doesn’t seem the domain of the intellectual, but fit right into Bonhoeffer’s firm belief that faith was not wholly a process of the mind, but of action.
Before the war, Bonhoeffer ran a series of underground, illegal seminaries (basically a school for pastors and theologians), where the students lived and studied together. It was an exercise in communal living. Not in Communism, but in community.
We get community wrong so often, pulling apart instead of drawing together, pointing fingers instead of extending a hand, hiding our weaknesses instead of sharing our strengths.
While I don’t expect the town to gather three times a day at the community centre for food, there is something powerful about sharing food. About breaking bread together. There is something intimate and universal in the act of eating. Food is frequently the glue that holds families together, sharing supper and stories around the table.
When we invite people to our table, we are inviting them to be a part of our family. Of our community. We invite them to share a connection with us.
When we donate to the food bank, we are not engaging in quite so intimate a connection with the people we are donating to, but we are becoming, at least in part, more of a community. A place where, while we might not be eating our bread together, we are at least sharing it. A place where we have sufficient, not just for ourselves, but for everyone in our community. A place where we remember the others in our community, no matter how different, and do what we can to help them out.
And hopefully in doing so, in thinking at least for a moment about the others in our community, we help make Tumbler Ridge a better place to live for all.