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By the Bridge

Summer was always my most favourite season when I was a child, and probably still is due to being able to do so much outdoors where I love to be. I remember spending all summer long exploring everything from the butterflies in the field, ants on the sidewalk to the water bugs in our slough. We swam and fished in the irrigation canals and ponds and at times dodged a floaty passing by. The cows in the pasture were given a block of salt to lick on and I remember a time or two trying out the salt lick myself. I don’t think it had the same health benefits for me as it did for the cows, but I lived.

Life wasn’t always about exploring and having fun. Growing up on a farm I was put to work feeding the pigs, cows, chickens and doing various other chores that needed to get done. Surprisingly, I was like any other red-blooded boy and didn’t love chores. I would much rather run around and explore. Although I didn’t realize it then, I now know that my dad loved me and wanted me to learn the value of hard work. What he taught me then paid dividends later on in life.

I am now nearing my 50s and have been blessed with a good job, an awesome wife, two amazing daughters and son-in-law, and countless kids who grew up in our home and were loved like our own. I still love to be able to forget my responsibilities for a while and go explore nature like I did as a child. My wife knows I need to get out into nature occasionally, especially after a trying week, to de-stress. I’ve always felt alive in nature and believe it’s because of my Indigenous heritage. I sometimes dream of going off into the wilderness and live off the land with no one else around. My wife knows she doesn’t have to fear that as she knows how much I love my coffee and breakfast with the “boys”.

For those who don’t really know me they see the finished, polished, articulate and successful person. Like everyone else in this world I had struggles and barriers to overcome. It’s because of my journey that I love people and feel drawn to help anyone who is struggling in life. I am still curious much like I was when I was a child, but instead of watching ants and butterflies I love watching people. I believe that if I invest my most valuable resource - my time - into people who are struggling I may help them overcome the barriers they face that are holding them back. Most are open to this approach but some are not. I’ll pray for those who refuse my help and hope they get the help they need. Summertime allows for bonfires and who doesn’t like to sit around a bonfire talking about a good life? 

This summer will be full of possibilities for all of us to get involved to make our world and our community amazing for everyone. Get curious, get involved, get connected and enjoy the summer.
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