Recently Roger McIntyre, a psychiatrist and professor at the University of Toronto, warned of the coming mental health difficulties predicted this winter. The good weather summer brought allowed for group gatherings out of doors, visits with friends on porches and in backyards, a much needed respite from the intensity of the novel coronavirus. However, with the weather taking a clear turn towards fall, and knowing our winter comes sooner and lasts longer than our neighbour’s in the south, it is important for us to begin to think now about how we can best prepare ourselves for the colder months.
2020 has felt like it has been one tragedy after another. Now, protesters are pouring into the streets from the Yukon to Winnipeg to Montreal to Halifax. The resounding messages are these: Black Lives Matter. Indigenous Lives Matter. We are tired of the killing of Black and Indigenous people. We are tired of tragedy and institutionalized racism. We will accept the status quo no more.
A few weeks ago we celebrated Christian Family Sunday at St. John’s, a celebration of our relationships with one another that also coincides with Mother’s Day. One of my favourite things about that particular day in our church calendar is that it celebrates all the ways we are family. Growing up I had a “guncle”, a man who wasn’t my uncle or my godfather. He was my dad’s best friend, and a big part of my life (imagine a giant man, bald as an eagle, bearded, and a constant source of good humour and kindness). Even after he moved with his family from Nova Scotia to British Columbia he has continued to be one of my cheerleaders. In many ways, even from a distance, he and his wife helped raise me.