UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

Truth and crayons

In praise of September and new beginnings

By Carolyn Pogue

It’s a grand thing to be on the cyber pages of The Observer to celebrate the New Year. I realize that the church teaches that Advent is the start of the year, and some celebrate January 1st. But it’s not just the smell of evergreens that makes me think of new beginnings; it’s the smell of a brand new box of crayons.

Pencil shavings from the hand-crank sharpener, chalk on a blackboard, coal dust and pink erasers were ambrosia for this kid who could hardly wait to start deciphering all those sticks and balls that make the alphabet, unlocking the world of words. I love September for these memories, and I love new beginnings.

Over the summer, during Aboriginal Day celebrations and the first national Truth and Reconciliation Commission event, I thought a lot about new beginnings. I dare to believe that we have arrived at the starting point of a new way of understanding ourselves as Canadians. I believe that, after generations of misunderstanding the very land we call home, that we are finally opening our hearts and minds to partnership possibilities. We stand to become rich in what matters.

And I humbly dare to believe that our church has played a role during our 25-year struggle to “get it right.” Beginning with the 1986 Apology to First Nations for not listening when First Peoples tried to explain the spiritual beliefs of this land, through to the 1998 Apology for our part in the 150-year Residential School “experiment,” and culminating in the work with other involved churches and the government in the Right Relations movement today, I feel encouraged.

This past summer seemed a watershed, a lightening and a loosening. The movement is gathering strength from what had been to what is and can be. I feel resurrection hope.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission event in Winnipeg started well and national media paid attention. May we pray for the ongoing work of the commissioners as they prepare for more gatherings throughout Canada and be awake to opportunities to participate. I hope we’ll update ourselves on sites like www.thechildrenremembered.ca, archives.united-church.ca/archives.htm and www.trc.ca.

It’s a new year. I will watch, read, listen and support the Commission in whatever ways I can. I’ll break open a box of new crayons. And I will draw a rainbow over a maple leaf.





Author's photo
Carolyn Pogue is a longtime Observer contributor. New posts of The Pogue Blog will appear on the first and third Thursday of the month. For more information on Carolyn Pogue, visit www.carolynpogue.ca..
Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!

Announcement

New Observer editor and CEO, Jocelyn Bell. Photo by Lindsay Palmer

New editor named

by Observer Staff

Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

A perfect send-off

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

by Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

Promotional Image

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

by Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

November 2017

Grey matter

by Trisha Elliott

Is consciousness just a function of the brain — or something more?

Promotional Image