Yesterday was a travel and arrival day. The where, geographically, was Bowen Island, off the west coast of mainland British Columbia. This is unceded traditional land of the Squamish peoples. It’s a place that I’ve been to, likely twenty times over the last 16 years. It’s been a combination of visits with friends, hosting Art of Hosting gatherings, and men’s retreats.
Snug Cove. It’s where the ferry from Horseshoe Bay arrives. It’s where a community that lives on Bowen Island connects with first the water of Howe Sound off the Strait of Georgia, of the Salish Sea. I love the “black and white” tones in this photo, that I caught from the arriving ferry. It’s the richness found in a more narrowed spectrum of color. I love the clouds, not parting, but being touched by the later afternoon sun. Ah, yes, touched by the sun is another of those desires for me. And I love the arrival to an island, a place that feels familiar, yet holds immense mystery and journey for me. There is always more. There is always a revisit that is possible.
Yesterday’s arrival began with conversations that reacquaint a few of us on The Circle Way Board. It included the car ride from Vancouver’s airport, through the city to North Vancouver. Though this was mostly social time for the four of us on route, it didn’t take long to get to a couple of the most significant, pressing, and yet avoided and neglected conversations of our times, societally speaking.
One, was around the denied history of colonization and impact of settler. One of my friends references this history as “pre-contact.” There’s a history here in Canada that is so much more that 152 years as a commonwealth nation. There were peoples here before white people arrived. There was violence. Confusion. Loss. Betrayal.
Two, was around the denied history of enslavement as means to capital gain. Slavery has happened in many parts of the world over history. In the United States, it’s one of those access points to a much needed awakening to a history that hasn’t been, nor is, “land of the free.”
My point here isn’t to go into the details of these neglects. Only to name them. And only to do so as a kind of appreciation for moving with open heart, and mind, and belly in to what matters, quite quickly with my friends and colleagues.
There are many things that matter. Many conversations. Many questions. Many realizations. In North America, these are two of the most upstream conversations I know, that have so much impact and pain downstream, today.
I’m glad to arrive to Snug Cove yesterday. In geography. And in friendship that leads to richness, hue, mystery and journey in encounters inner and outer.