This land of children

Life on Earth is unique because, for whatever reason, it’s possible. The right amount of sun to warm the planet and wrap it in enough of the stuff to nurture life in a way not possible anywhere else. It only happens here, on this rock. Life on Earth challenges each one of us because it has happened for so long that even our most wild imaginations are challenged to comprehend just how long a span of time that is. The diversity of life on Earth is so equally broad that even terms like infinite seem like embarrassingly gross underestimates of how diverse the spectrum of life is. To be human is to share a place in that spectrum. We are not alone. Everything in our design is intended to allow us to interact with our space and relate to it. We can receive and send signals and interpret messaging from our environment and assemble the terms of collaboration both within humanity and as humans sharing a place here and now. Those skills make us into better modellers. Maturing those skills is an effort serving our quest to be better people to ourselves, to our neighbours, to this land we share.

We have days dedicated to every time we’ve decided it was better to sacrifice our humanity to defend our current definition of what it should be to be human, no matter the cost, no matter how great. We have days as focal points to collect our love for each other and reset it so we can carry that renewed sense of who we are into our future. We have days on which we should embrace each other to remind each other how great a privilege it is to be embraced and to have someone in our lives who wants to be held by us. There are no greater things that to be in the company of someone we want to give our love to or who wants to give their love back to us. This year, we are adding a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

The creation of this federal statutory holiday was through legislative amendments made by Parliament. On June 3, 2021, Bill C-5, An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation) received Royal Assent.

We constantly evolve the processes, materials, and techniques of our craft to better our representation, in miniature, of a time or place important to us. I like to joke we can date photos by the scenery techniques displayed in that photo: “from the dyed sawdust era” or “the dawn of static grass”. This effort to model the land our model railroads run through is also the act of modelling land we share with everything else on Earth; every other human we have shared this space with and every human we will share this space with. This land is where we’ll create our future and learn from our past. It is our home. Like any home, any family, it is not simple nor is it easy. To take one day to reflect on what it means to truly acknowledge our life to date. As parents, partners, neighbours, and all those other people we are a day like National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is also a chance to reflect so we can see ourselves in a more complete way. In building models of the land, recognizing that it represents more than the backdrop for our models is important. Detailing our compassion and comprehension for it as at least as important as getting the right number of trees, right shade of ballast, right strata of rock or any like quantitative attribute we’ll consider as design elements.

This morning I read Stephen Gardiner’s Tuesday post. I could not feel more proud of him or more grateful to have him as a friend. If you haven’t already you should take the time to read his post:

Last week I wrote a continuation of my interest in what distinguishes inspiration from motivation. This morning inspiration is something discovered in Stephen’s post. Thank you.

Categories: How I think


7 replies

  1. That’s very kind of you to say Chris, I’m glad I inspired you. It was something that had been percolating In the back of my mind for a while, and it seemed the appropriate time to say it.


    • I love the bridge analogy. The way it connects but also the way a bridge identifies where things aren’t connected so a connection is forged by humans and to remain of value must be invested in and maintained or that ironwork stands as a remainder of how both sides are so far apart. It’s a beautiful story you’ve told. Thank you.


  2. WOW! AMEN! Thank you.Your posts always reassure me that dignity and intelllect are still alive here on this blue marble of ours. Bud

  3. Thanks for writing this, Chris. I appreciate your thoughtful approach to many things.


  1. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Traingeek – Trains and Photography

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