reflections on this day


 
The beauty of the the Pacific Spirit Park today is so poignant against the news of such tragic loss of so many lives in Bulgaria, many of whom were children, and in Wisconsin with the added loss today of 8 year old Jackson Sparks who was so cruelly struck down proudly marching with his baseball team in what should have been a joyful Christmas Parade. All of these grieving families are in our thoughts tonight as I know they must be in yours.


 
Inspired in the studio this afternoon by the sights and sounds of the Pacific Spirit Park from this morning’s walk: the music of the wind swaying the trees above and the rustling of myriads of falling leaves in the rain alighting on the trails and woodland floor below.
 

I couldn’t help but be inspired by the privilege of experiencing such precious moments as these.

215 leaves


 
One year ago I began my drawing of the 546 leaves I had collected that day from the Pacific Spirit Park after learning about the children who had been so cruelly separated from their parents at the US border. In the following few weeks we learnt, as my daily drawings continued, how many more separated children there were. Sadly, as of today too many of these children have yet to be reunited with their parents.
 
In May of this year the remains of 215 children were discovered in unmarked graves in the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Reservation School, children who were never given any opportunity of being reunited with their parents and families. And so began the discovery of generations of children buried in unmarked graves of Indian Reservation Schools across the country in this sad chapter of Canadian history, a chapter that continues today through the vital and heartbreaking process of Truth and Reconciliation.
 
My 215 leaves today are in memory of all the beautiful children who are being grieved and remembered by their families and communities everywhere. They were very much in our thoughts yesterday as we walked in the Pacific Spirit Park on a rainy Friday with so many beautiful fallen leaves carpeting the trails and woods around us.