Friday, July 17, 2009

Being Me and Being You

The following poem ©Douglas Malloch is from a book I am currently reading. I decided to post it here so that I can read it whenever I want to be someone else:

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley—but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush, if you can't be a tree.

If you can't be a bush, be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can't be a muskie, then just be a bass—
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us here.
There's big work to do and there's lesser to do
And the task we must do is the near.

If you can't be a highway, then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun, be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or you fail—
Be the best of whatever you are!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Going... Going... Gone!

Gone But Not Forgotten

Some of you may recall one of the first watercolours (pictured above) I painted almost 20 years ago: "Cooling Off", later reproduced in a limited quantity, is of the dock and logs at Mason's Beach. Well, if you haven't driven past Mason's Beach in a while, you may notice something missing when you do. I am not alone in leaving Shawnigan Lake.

A little over a week ago, I decided to take Molly back to the lake for a swim; she liked to walk the logs in an attempt to catch a big fish living under the dock. Imagine my surprise upon arrival to see two men (who I soon found out where from the CVRD) in separate boats removing the last log from the beach... and the dock was no where to be found. Why? Insurance. Because too many people were suing the CVRD if their kid happened to fall off a log and knock out a tooth or break something. Why? Because today there are no accidents and no one is responsible for their own actions. Back in my day (I am that old!) if anyone hurt themselves jumping off cliffs, walking logs, diving off docks other than their own, no one was responsible but themselves. The excitement was worth the risk. Now we have people suing their friends if they get a splinter in their butt from a hot tub...and why not, the friends don't pay, the insurance company does. And don't even get me going on the vandals, which is another reason the dock had to go. For many years not a single board went missing in action, but recently the ripping, smashing and general mayhem is increasing at a ridiculous rate. So, don't call the CVRD to whine about the loss of yet another Shawnigan pastime (no more right of passage walking the logs... oh and bye bye Quarry, too).

It was serendipitous that I just happened to have my camera with me that day and I am not ashamed to admit I actually got a tear in my eye as I photographed the last log sailing out of sight.