A different kind of goodbye
Published May 26, 2020
To the Editor,
Saying goodbye is usually a face-to-face, hand-to-hand experience. But not this year. So, as we move out of the county on May 1, we must find a different way of saying thank you to our friends, neighbours, and community that have been home and family.
We moved here as full-timers in 2005. Before that, Paul had cottaged at the Harrison Farm on Little Boshkung in the 40s, been a camper at Cecil and Jean Irwin’s Sherwood Forest Camp, then a cottager on Big Boshkung where I joined him 35 years ago. But it was only when we bought the Charles Barry farmhouse on Barry Line, and opened the Gaia Centre Retreat that we came to appreciate the real lively “spirit of the county.” And it is that land-loving, music-making, co-creative, self-sustaining, helping-hand spirit that makes it so hard to leave.
It’s been an interesting 15 years globally. When we opened the Gaia Centre in 2005, it was the International Year of Sustainability. As we leave, it is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. These have been Earth-conscious, Gaia-centred times. We are very thankful for the support of so many organizations and individuals who served on the Board, provided leadership, and attended the programs. We are grateful for the privilege of working with you on issues that will be even more pressing in the decades to come.
It’s been an interesting time of personal development as well. Paul has relearned the violin, thanks to Bethany, been a founding member of three fiddle groups, and learned trombone under the baton of Maestro Glen. He will miss the Highland Concert Band and all the music-making.
It’s been a great place to age! As elders we felt our life experience was welcome and put to good service. Paul was grateful to be a volunteer with so many important services like SircH, Hospice, and Community Care. But now, we feel the need to put down the snow shovel and head to the warmer climes of East Toronto, not too far away.
It would take the rest of the newspaper to mention all the folks we’re grateful to have met – the medical staff, municipal officials, and so many creative volunteer leaders. Instead, we wish you well and that you continue to be the spirit-full community that you are.
Carol Kilby and Paul Irwin