The future is rapidly transitioning out of the hands of us oldsters and into the hands of our youngsters. Right behind and to the right of the science pavillion (here in Hilary's hand) on the east end of False Creek the workers are rapidly building the Olympic Village for the 2010 Winter Games.
All buildings will be LEED certified and will be a sustainable part of the rebuilding of new Vancouver.
Meanwhile, a generation of older Canadians is seeing the demise of their "new" and very ethnic homeland on this side of "The Bamboo Curtain". I wonder what stories this woman could tell us?
And how about the woman who sells newspapers and magazines? She may have emigrated about the time that Chiang Kai-Shek made his effort to revolutionize China, only to fail under the massive opposition of Chairman Mao. She's probably sold newspapers all her life. Or maybe she was a traditional dancer before the revolution. Maybe she fled for her life and found freedom in Maple Leaf Land. Maybe she and the family left Hong Kong when the sun finally set on the British Empire there a few years back.
Do we have any idea how much history, how much life, how much important wisdom and drama are walking around in the hearts and minds of our elders? Have we ever asked them to tell their stories in this topsy-turvy, youth-driven world where elders are obsolete and every new thing enters the market and the culture before we even know how to ask what it might do to us as a people? When our kids tell us they are tired of trying to keep up--and can't--maybe it's time to stop and look for balance, get right-side-up again.
Along the shores of English Bay where we love to stay and stroll around Stanley Park, it's become local tradition to balance rocks on each other. There's no glue, no sand, no cheat pebbles between the smooth round rocks. Somebody just loves to take the time and has the patience to stand them up--and keep trying.
And there they are for all to behold. . . All because someone wanted to leave a gift to passers-by whom he/she would never meet or know.
There's some wisdom in that. And some peace. Look for it in the elders around you, in the world of God's creation, in the people who once were strangers but now are close. Look for it in what you have received and what you give each day.
Perhaps there is a reason why Jesus spent so much time crossing Lake Galilee and spending time with people who took time out to come to the shore.
And he began to teach them many things . . . (Mark 6:34b)