tideAs the ups and downs of life are measured, I begin to think of them less as ups and downs and more like ocean waves, ins and outs; perhaps it is because I was lucky to emigrate from Alberta to the west coast at a formative age. Sometimes when the tide is way out, instead of appreciating the stretches of sand, the driftwood, the barnacles, the hermit crabs and such, I focus on the wrong things. But not so often… I know it’s a choice. Somehow, somewhere within, through luck, philosophy, good reading or good breeding, I can and do focus on the positive. A woman I recently met, having experienced just too much stress, remarked on my attitude and all I could do was give her a hug; was that an instinctual attempt to transfer some of this positive energy?

My mother thinks my sister is the lucky one. She has succeeded financially, has an abundance of health and healthy offspring, winters in Arizona and will settle next week in BC on waterfront property in Victoria. But I am lucky, I experience true joy almost daily. Last night I was moved to tears by the sweet, pure delightful voice of AMYlubikAmy Anne Lubik. It is hard to describe that feeling. Had I died that moment, it would have been just fine. In that warm, soft voice was definitely angels’ song. Not a lot of music nor a lot of art has this profound an effect on me, yet how lucky I am to actually know someone who breaks frequently into song AND can do this with her voice. I told Amy about a piece of art by Csaba Markus that had the same effect on me. My inner dog began guarding the piece; I didn’t like it when people looked at it in the wrong manner. I was offended when people, clearly wealthy enough to buy it, would remark that it would match their sofa. Were they interfering with this inner joy that I was lucky enough to feel…

And last night, after thinking Amy’s voice would sustain me for so long, dear friend and champion of change, Rick Glumac, played his guitar and sang a song he had written just for our Greendrinks, evoking another type of pure pleasure, laughter. We all laughed at his straight-faced genius talent. How lucky to not just be there, but to be able to call Rick a friend; to know him, to encourage him, to stand with him, to be wowed by him – constantly. And while we celebrated the talents of all our GREENDRINKERS, we saw comments from the ever-talented Graham Girard, from across the country, whose brain I had the luck to watch at work as we founded and refined the original Tri-City Green Council.

Lucky indeed, not to have lost so many friends and dear ones, but to have had the privilege to know them, to write about them and for them…who knew the bit of writing talent identified in my youth would lead to a large collection of eulogies…will I publish a book of them…one day? Each person known and lost is etched in my being. I am lucky because I know I have more than inhaled some of their molecules. I AM some of their shared experiences…some of that ocean tide.

I have the good luck of being someone who can help others. I am grateful for that. In an email I received this morning, friend Simona writes, “Thanks Elaine. You are exactly what I need when I’m hurt and also when I’m happy.” Does life get better than this?

And last night, the all too amazing young Sara Norman brought her mother, poet Renee Norman to Greendrinks, and she wowed us all with her poetry about motherhood. And while she watched and listened to others at the microphone, she fondly twirled bits of Sara’s hair.

Last night was very special for me, euphoric in simplicity. Amy was so right, we need to take some time to just enjoy, especially those of us passionately trying to make the world a better place. I was so lucky to be there.

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