Tuesday, 17 July 2012

People, Place, Purpose

I have been in Fredericton since September 2010, so just two months short of two years.  Much to my surprise, being someone who has moved a lot and who is kind of good at it, it has taken a long time to find my people, my place here. It was a trial and error process: I love to garden, so joined a community garden my first summer. I hooked up with my old hockey team. I tried to make friends in church basements with other mothers. I initiated contact with old professors, went out for coffee with some, didn't connect with others. I talked to my neighbours.  It has been a struggle to connect with and stay connected with many of these people.

But I think I might have found my place here.  Tonight I participated in a discussion about transition towns, and how Fredericton can move forward keeping in mind the reality of peak oil, and our current unsustainable lifestyles.  In the room were friends from my book club, people I've met through the community gardens, and through my volunteering.  There were people I've seen at protests against shale gas, and others I met when my husband campaigned for city council.  There was also my best writer friend who I met within weeks of moving, bless her soul.  And as a result of my participation I will now lead others as we move to have more edible plants on municipal land.  I have people, I have place, I have purpose. 

Monday, 16 July 2012

School Year Retrospective

So a year of after school care has come and gone.  I can tell you that I am not much richer.  As a matter of fact I've been supplementing our living costs with savings in order to continue to look after my son, and two or three others - give or take a few - afterschool.  There have been days when I want to buy something, or we need something and just can't afford it that I start trolling the classifieds looking for something more lucrative.  A few opportunities completely matching my experience and expertise have come to my attention.  But I don't apply. Why? 

Well, there is the time alone every weekday morning while my son is in school until he comes home with his friends when I read, or write, or walk, or do whatever moves me. There is the time I spend volunteering two mornings a week helping the Fredericton Food Bank transition into greenhouses, community gardens, a teaching kitchen, along with providing emergency food and clothing to over 2500 people each month. There is the time I spend with children playing, singing, dancing, teaching them how to speak directly to each other, and how to self-direct their play. There is the time to plan and prepare meals, to work in my garden, to do dishes and clean floors. The fact is that my life is so much richer in time, in energy, in community involvement than it was when I worked 9-5 and made a pile of money.  So I'm going to provide after school care again next year. I'm going to be poor but happy for another year.