Wednesday, 24 October 2012

the season of engaging

Today my thoughts have been turning to elections. I feel an immense gratitude that I live in a time and place where I will be casting at least 3 votes in the next few months. My union's executive committee elections will be held in two weeks. My local municipal councillor has just resigned and so a by-election has been called, and the premier of Ontario has also just stepped down. Three very different levels of leadership, all bearing great impact on my life and my family's life, and I get a say in who fills each of those roles.

I have to admit it, and I do so almost guiltily, but I love politics. I don't love the abuse and scandal that is part and parcel, but I love the whale, despite the barnacles. Leadership, to me, on any level, whether it be the Prime Minister or a camp counsellor, is a sacred and wonderful thing. The struggle of differing ideals and opinions, the collective will to rise up and forge a path forward, and the entrusting of individuals with the power and authority to be our guides, our governors and our champions, is thrilling stuff. When I engage myself in politics, I feel connected to humanity the way gardening and camping connects me to the earth. It's not about party affiliations, petty scandals or even tax breaks- I just love being a part of something bigger than myself. I want to care about decisions being made now that will send ripples through the lives of my grandchildren. I want to understand the role my country is playing in events halfway around the world which I would otherwise be oblivious to. I want to know the values of the leaders who will be negotiating the next collective agreement with my employer.

This isn't a political blog. But it is a place where I try to share my grasps at this Good Life I'm always going on about. It's where I do some of my most public internal wrestling. Right now, the season outside is Autumn. Harvest Time, Holy October. But within me, it is the season of Engaging.

Some people would grumble and gripe about one upcoming trip to the polls, let alone three. Not me- I am excited. We live in a great time- one where not only powerful, white men make the decisions, but young and old, wealthy and poor, female and male, any race or colour, can cast and equal vote and say "This is what I want for my family, for my community, for my country" and each voice is heard clear and loud.

In a short while, I will have a new union president, a new municipal councillor, and a new premier. The very fabric of my workplace, my town and my province will be in the hands of three people whom I will have a say in electing. Some days, my soul is turned so inwardly that all my thoughts are consumed by a rising ball of dough or a needle and thread. But lately, it is flayed open and stretched to the changing winds, and I feel both a heady excitement and a sobering appreciation for the right and privilege to be a part of shaping the things to come.

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