To be clear, I’m not suggesting we all need to be leaders of a group of people! The question was triggered by this plaque below that I saw overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Tofino, BC. What if we all lived with the perspective of this leader – whatever the role we played in our lives?


Caring … now, and for generations to come

What if each of us truly felt connected to, and with great respect took on responsibility for caring for everything – living and non-living – that we could see from where we were? And remember, this would include connecting with and respecfully caring for ourselves as well!

In some very different environments than we usually experience at home, these last 10 days Bruce and I have been caring for ourselves on vacation in the Pacific Northwest.

It’s been a powerful time of connection with ourselves, each other, friends and family (including some of our ‘kids’ and my nearly 91 year old aunt), as well as breathing in the nurturing of nature in so many forms.

We’ve been near sea and sky – from beaches to the mountains. We’ve soaked in the giant ancient trees, and the profusion of spring flowers. We’ve experienced technology old and new – from steam driven sawmills and trains, to the latest in air travel at Boeing. All while adapting to the ever changing weather!

West coast soothing
Soothed by the muted west coast colours and sounds

It’s also been a powerful time of reflection for me. Being outside my accustomed patterns heightens my awareness – both of the absence of things I can take for granted, and of the preciousness of having experiences I don’t get to savour so often.

This reflection has also been triggered through reading a book I picked up on one of our many ferry rides – did I say we’ve also travelled by plane, car, bus, and train?!

The book’s called Unlearn, Rewild by Miles Olson. The back cover describes the book this way – Wild by nature. Radical sustainability skills and ideas for an uncertain future. … It’s part meditation, part ethical investigation, part hard-core survival guide.  … this unique and thoroughly unconventional manual will make you question what it means to be civilized. You can see why I was intrigued!

Connecting … in awe of Cathedral Grove majesty
Massive Ancient Beauty – foreground trees are ‘regular’ sized!

When I feel awareness triggered from a number of different sources I pay attention!

The challenge evoked through the words on the plaque, the questions raised through reading the book, my awe-filled experiences with those massive Douglas Firs in Cathedral Grove, walking the misty beaches, deeply heart-connecting with those precious ones I don’t get to see very often – all of these came together to form a powerful nexus of awareness of how we ‘be’ with ourselves, each other, and all of life, and what else might be possible.

I’m clear this awareness is NOT one designed to make me feel bad, or evoke shame in me or anyone else. Making ourselves or each other wrong is no more effective than disconnecting ourselves from the challenges we face in our world.

Instead I’m brought back to some of Miles Olson’s words “… I love acknowledging the bittersweet reality and how complex it is. It is part of being alive – the essence of being alive.”

And I’m reminded of the poet Rilke’s words …
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart
And try to love the questions themselves.
Do not seek the answers that cannot be given to you,
Because you would not be able to live them. 
And the point is, to live everything
Live the questions now.

So I don’t come here with ‘answers’. I do sit in the midst of the bittersweet reality of the complexity of our lives with a heightened awareness of the creative possibilities before us. I come with the question evoked by the wisdom of the First Nations people. What if, starting here and now … we all regarded everything around us with the reverence shared in Elder Archie Thompson’s vision?

What if each of us truly felt connected to, and with great respect took on responsibility for caring for everything – living and non-living – that we could see from where we lived? What would this mean for each of us? How might things be different?


Nurturing juicy co-creative partnerships
…with ourselves, others & life!