Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Summer We've Had

It's a grey fall day here, the rain is falling and even the dog is content to lay around on the couch. The house has dipped to 19 degrees and I have put on the first pair of socks of the season and a sweatshirt, looking at the basket of apples I picked yesterday and thinking about all the treats that can be made and stored up for the winter ahead.

I didn't turn on the news this morning. I just need a little insulation against what I've seen in the past week. I wanted to guard my Saturday a little against the stories of small boys washed up on shores, of devastating days of desperate people, walking, walking, walking ...only to be met with zipties of arrest, barbed wire welcomes and the realization that the promise of open doors is an empty one.

I lay in bed this morning, Easton in his room, reading the last of the Harry Potter series since we've returned from our adventure at Universal Studios. I thought that the line ups and crowds, the heat and the expense, were all worth it for this Saturday morning peace of my son reading in his bed and the quiet warmth of the blankets before I have to roll out and really accomplish nothing today.

It's a summer that probably many on our side of the ocean have their own memorable version of. Camping. Spending time outdoors with our kids. Boating. Swimming at the lake. Spending time with those we love. We put a lot of preparation and time into planning our summers and our time away from work, so that we can enjoy it to the fullest.  It's easier now that my boys are older, but I remember the days of making sure that you had everything imaginable for a peaceful journey...the car ride entertainment, the snacks, the diaper bag essentials...all in anticipation of avoiding discomfort. It's probably the same the world over.   Does any of this look familiar to you? You can probably picture yourselves in some of these photos.

Packed up the van and headed out on a road trip

The diaper bag "essentials" 

The stroller with everything packed neatly underneath

A day out on the water with the kids
Everyone having fun out on the water
And we can't forget the dog...they need to be safe on the water too.
Even at the pool, it's important for the kids to be safe

The home away from home may not feel like "camping"

Or maybe you chose to "rough it" a little more this year
Listened to the kids giggle around the campfire

Hiking with friends in new territories

But can you imagine yourselves in these? Same summer. Different experiences.

Hiking with friends in new territories
Listening to the kids giggle around the campfire

Choosing to "rough it" it a little more this year
The home away from home may not feel much like "camping" 
A day out on the water with the kids
A stroller packed with all the essentials

I'm sorry....I can't even go on in this way. Obviously, the summer we've had can not compare to the summer that those fleeing violence and fear in the middle east. I'll leave you with these images. Not because I want to inflict hurt or cause despair, but because if we continue to turn the news off and plug our ears, it doesn't erase what's happening in the lives of others - it just makes us ignorant in every sense of the word.

A migrant struggles on to the beach while tourists sunbathe nearby.

*for those of you wondering how to help....

Call your Member of Parliament and your Member of the Legislative Assembly. Tell them that you want our doors opened to immigration as a humanitarian response.

Consider your vote this election. October 19th is quickly approaching. Educate yourself. Vote accordingly.

Attend rallies and sign petitions and add your voice to the collective voice saying that this is not okay and that we will not close our eyes and let it go on.

Consider sponsoring a family. You can do this, though it's not an overnight solution as many would believe, by contacting your local immigration branch and following up. Gather three to five friends or families to join with you in sponsoring families to come to Canada (or wherever you are) to live in safety with a group of people who have stood up to say, "We're with you" and "Welcome".

It's okay to be overwhelmed with these images and the news. Take a breather when you need to, that's not turning a blind eye, but come back with resolve and continue to speak up on behalf of those who have no voice.

**the photos used in this blog are not my own. You can follow the links to google images where they are credited. Thank you. 

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