Sunday, October 13, 2002

The weather is gifting us over this Thanksgiving weekend. Crystal clear blue skies, warm in the day, getting colder at night. The stars are brilliant points of light after the moon sets, which is early in the evening. Not a breath of wind, not a hint of rain, nothing to complain about. Aine, Finn and I went walking in the now bear free woods today, looking at straight branched corals, alcohol inky caps and oyster mushrooms and other flora and fauna.



Yesterday my friend Carol Mackinnon and I and the folks from the Bowen Island Lifelong Learning Society and the Bowen Island Sustainable Community Task Force ran an Open Space meeting around the theme of Bowen Island 2042: Why we STILL love living here. The gathering was intended to kick off an extended process aimed at looking at sustainability here on Bowen and designing some strategies to take us down the right path for the next forty years. About 30 people came out an talked about everything from governance to transportation to agriculture to storytelling. The proceedings are online and make for an interesting sourcebook of ideas, and touchstones for why people love this community. It seems like people had a pretty good time.



In the closing circle I remarked that the day had reinforced my enduring belief that great success derives from invitation, and that one of the stories of Bowen Island is the story of invitation. For years in the early part of the century, the Union Steamship Company invited people to come here to party on "The Happy Isle." Scattered around the island, especially at places like Doc Morgan's and The Lodge at the Old Dorm are mementos of that time period: brochures, posters, guides and pictures, beckoning people to come to Bowen.



Today that spirit of invitation is embodied in the fact that at our major 4 way intersection (we really only have one), one whole corner is given over to a space for community events to be annouced on sandwiched boards, large and small, elegant and simple, hand drawn and professionally designed. They are a constantly changing bulletin board of invitations, everything from golf course donations to community choir practices, to signs about salmon and tuna for sale at the government dock. That we have given 25% of our prime four corners real estate over to invitation says a lot about Bowen.