A Very Good Day

Perfect Day
Just a perfect day
Drink Sangria in the park
And then later
When it gets dark, we go home
Just a perfect day
Feed animals in the zoo
Then later
A movie, too, and then home
Oh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on
Just a perfect day
Problems all left alone
Weekenders on our own
It’s such fun
Just a perfect day
You made me forget myself
I thought I was
Someone else, someone good
Oh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you


Today has been a very good day. I say that with true sincerity, a very good day. I’m going to go as far as say, a perfect day. The kind of day I will look back on and smile because today truth and perseverance won and I got to be a part of it.

My day began with an invitation from a friend for Angus, the dogs and I to join her on a hike near her home in Cowichan Bay, a beautiful little town on the ocean. On the way there we found a lost looking dog in the middle of the road. My community has a strong on-line connection for things like events and buy/sell items and lost animals. There are frequenting postings for lost dogs and this one closely resembled one I remembered seeing two days ago named Cheeko. This little dog looked lost and alone and I was thrilled when he came to me right away when I called him. I immediately messaged my friend, who posted to the site, which then connected me with Cheekos’ Dad, who said he’d be there in minutes. Sadly when he drove up just minutes later, his dismay was palpable. This scruffy mutt, wagging his tail to an adopted name was not Cheeko. He looked a lot like him, but this was not the right dog. My tears were matched by the sad owner, who graciously thanked me for trying before he drove away. He said, “this community has worked so hard to help us find Cheeko, for that I am thankful”. I was so upset, especially when my fake lost boy turned and  trotted a few metres down the road and down a driveway, to a whistle from his owner. When I finally reached my friend she was kind and reassured me that I really wasn’t the worst person in the world and what counted was that I tried. The sun on my face as we walked was welcome, my dogs were at least safe and happy, the landscape was beautiful and the conversation flowed like the water on the estuary where we walked. I thought as I walked about Cheeko and his sad owner but still that “this day is good”.

We got home just before noon and while I downloaded photos from the mornings walk, I checked my messages. The greatest surprise was waiting for me. For the past four years my community of Shawnigan Lake has been fighting against a contaminated soil dump site permitted by the Ministry of Environment in our watershed. Fraud, flawed engineering, deceit – this has played out like a blockbuster drama about greed and corruption except it has been our reality and a heavy weight on all of the residents here for too long. My message read ” The Permit is pulled ! Party in the village ! Come now “!

My exclamation made Angus come running, he thought I’d hurt myself. Instead he found me, grinning and  crying and clutching my chest. I don’t think I’ve ever really understood the expression of ” a weight lifted” until that moment. I cannot expect that a reader of this who hasn’t lived here throughout this battle can understand what those words meant to me and to everyone who calls Shawnigan home. Our drinking water , drawn from this lake has been saved. Our children will not fall ill, the lake will remain pristine and beautiful, we will have the time and energy and resources to focus on living in our community again instead of fighting for its survival, our property values will not plummet. Two million dollars have been spent on legal fees, fighting our own government, to save our lake, our community, our future. once again, I thought, ” this day is great”.

On the way to the coffee shop, the heart of our little downtown core and the meeting place for so many talks about water and community, I got a text from an unfamiliar number.I opened the text to see an image loading and then a picture.It was the second sweetest moment of my day, it was a grinning dad hugging Cheeko, who had just found his way home. Cheekos’ dad posted ” I am absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from the town of Shawnigan Lake. Give yourselves a pat on the back…”He was talking about his lost dog but today his words mean so much more.

Angus and I were greeted with laughter, hugs, tears and true community pride. We were small players in the community effort to save the lake but we were welcomed in sharing this victorious day. My utmost appreciation for our forever Optimistic leader in this battle, Sonia Furstenau (BC Green Candidate) and to the Shawnigan Residents Assosciation President Calvin Cook could only be shared with a warm hug and my failed efforts to hold back my tears. Champagne was poured all around and a collective deep breath was taken. Eventually I pulled out a very special bottle of Scotch that has been waiting for one such occasion.

Today has been a Very Good Day …





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