(226/366) Spirit Trail

August 13, 2012 – The Spirit Trail is a commendable dream that is becoming a reality. The goal is to provide a “waterfront-oriented, multi-use and fully accessible greenway that will provide pedestrians, cyclists, inline skaters and people with wheeled mobility aids access across the North Shore, from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove.”

Much of it is already complete, and near home they painted these wonderfully crazy patterned crosswalks. So much more interesting that the boring old zebra striped ones.

I had an encounter today that left me feeling wonderful. I had a ‘date’ with an uncle and one of my cousins for a coffee after work. After years of running the Vancouver Civic theatres, my uncle retired a week and a half ago, and is about to embark on a new adventure. His daughter was in town for a week before heading off to her latest adventure in theatre, sort of following in her father’s footsteps in a number of ways. But the encounter of importance wasn’t with either of them, it was with her new boyfriend. A very nice guy, about 24 or so, who caught my heart when I asked him what he was going back to this fall. I assumed school back in TO, but he said he’d just graduated from fine arts and creative writing and had earned enough money tree planting to carry him through for awhile while he wrote a novel. He gave me a pretty cool outline of what he planned to write about, and then came the catch. After writing it, he said he wanted to ride across the country and promote it, and planned to give every bit of money he makes from it to the Alzheimer’s Society. I couldn’t ask if he had a reason, or a family member, or someone close who inspired him. I couldn’t ask because I knew might have cried because of my own father. He was the only one of the four of us who wouldn’t have known about my father and how meaningful what he had just said really was.

So I simply expressed how wonderful I thought his goal was.

What a wonderful heart my young cousin has finally found to match her own.

And it made me think of another young person I know who annually puts on a charity benefit for cancer, he is about 22.

Here’s the thing. When my age bracket spins back the clock to about 25 years ago, how many of us were doing charitable things like this? How many of us were not so wrapped up in our own lives that we could see beyond ourselves? How many of us are still wrapped up in our own selfish wants and desires that we don’t give back. How many of us are so damed determined to experience everything that we can, take everything we can from this life, that we completely miss those who don’t have the means to experience even a fraction of what we so blatantly take for granted?

Those two young men truly have the gift of spirit, and they are giving back rather than simply taking all they can.

I believe that the world doesn’t owe us anything, we owe it.

That society doesn’t owe us anything, we owe it.

I wish people would stop trying to take so much, and give just a little bit more instead.