World Water Day – Leaving No One Behind

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March 22, 2019 celebrated World Water Day, which is the annual UN observance day that highlights the importance of freshwater. The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.  I am writing this on March 23, 2019 to reaffirm my commitment to participate in this important dialogue.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right.

Water Day 2019 – This year’s call to action is to leave no one behind:

Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.

Living Water Smart provides the B.C. Government’s vision for sustainable water stewardship and sets the direction for changes to water management and water use. These changes are crucial for adapting to climate change impacts and the pressures placed on water resources from a growing population and economy.

Water from Rebecca Budd aka ClanmotherA

The Future is Now

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We received the City of Vancouver’s notice a few weeks ago in the mail.

There would be lane closure on West 1st Avenue to support a public event to be held between February 18 – March 3, 2019.  ELA was coming to our city.

This past week, Vancouver hosted a free Autonomous Shuttle Demonstration.

ELA, the diminutive of ELectronic Automation, is the future of transportation. Vancouver and Surrey are the first in Canada to have this demonstration. According to local news sources, “ELA…is manufactured by EasyMile, a leading autonomous manufacturer that has deployed driverless shuttles in over 20 countries across Asia-Pacific, the Middle-East, North America, and Europe. The shuttles use a combination of sensors, video cameras, and computers to understand their surrounding.”

 

Battery Life: up to 14 hours.
Speed: up to 40km per hour
Powered by: Electricity
Capacity: Maximum 12 people per shuttle.

Sleek and confident – those were my first thoughts when I encountered ELA on my walk down 1st Avenue.    In a time of unprecedented discussion on climate change, Vancouver is following on their commitment to Greenest City Action Plans.

The Future is now! Are we ready?

The Future is Now from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

 

Driverless vehicles are anticipated to eliminate one of the leading contributors to collisions – human error,” says City of Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “By piloting them on these corridors, we can learn more about how they can be used throughout the region to improve safety, reduce congestion, and create safer, greener, healthier, more connected communities. In Surrey and Vancouver we believe that together, we are leading the way and setting the standard for other cities in Canada to follow for smart mobility.”

 

The Journey into Silence

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“Silence is a source of great strength.” Lao Tzu

 

This month, I am following my dear friends, The World According to Dina, Leaping Tracks and Silkannthreades into silence. For most of us, this is entering unfamiliar territory. We have become accustomed to sound, whether it be the soothing lilt of music, the white noise of traffic, urgent text message notifications, or the inevitable clamour of an alarm clock. At the same time, our affinity with silence has lessened to the point that we are uneasy in what seems to be a “void.” Consider how we rush to fill a conversation when there is a lapse into silence.

Silence is a complete absence of sound, something which very few of us will ever experience. City dwellers will always have the company of noise.  Nature offers the echoes of ocean waves crashing along a shoreline, wind rattling the trees, rain pelting the ground, voices of animals and the songs of birds. And the universe – even interstellar space is filled with noise.

I am discovering that silence can be reached when we allow the noise to drift away, when we relinquish the message conveyed by the incoming signal. In so doing, we open ourselves to new possibilities and outcomes.

In the end, silence is a personal journey, an inner conversation, an open invitation to explore and celebrate.

“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” Chaim Potok

 

Finding Silence within a City Garden from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

The Unsolved Mystery of Leg-in-Boot

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The year 1887.

They found a human leg trapped in a boot. As the story is remembered, the leg washed up on the shore of False Creek. No one claimed it, even though it was prominently displayed in the local police station for all to view. No one showed up or even appeared to be interested in the unusual display. It remains an unsolved mystery.

The police station is no more. Yet, the narrative remains alive, over 100 years later,in the name, Leg-in-Boot Square. And now there is great interest in the current display – Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight To Forge The Sea.

Leg-in-Boot Square, once a thriving part of False Creek’s industrialization, has taken on a more serene, even sedate, orientation. The chaotic mishmash of forges, boat-builders and stevedores, has been replaced by walkers, runners and bikes that share the Vancouver Seawall. It is a place of respite with benches offering a view of Vancouver’s ever growing skyline and the sailboats berthed at the nearby marina.

Art remembers and gives voice to our histories and legends. This month, the “Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight to Forge the Sea” gives a hearty nod to Vancouver 1887. Maskull Lasserre has created a massive sculpture, with measurements of approximately three-by-eight-metres, to celebrate False Creek’s industrial era.

The Acoustic Anvil arrived on Thursday, July 19th at 10:30. Dramatic, vibrant, solid – those were the words that came to me when I reached out my hand for the first touch. Then I heard the music.

“What is the sound? Where is it coming from? Where does it transport you.”

Moving On

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There is a time to move on. That is what my grandmother told me many years ago. It is how we move on that makes life interesting, productive, meaningful.

We cannot change time, or the season. What we can do is embrace the present, to honour the moments that are given and affirm the poignancy of our inability to hold time in abeyance.

Cities are no different. They are ever-changing, a reflection of our evolving societies. As the Scottish scientist, Patrick Geddes, noted, “But a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.” And time moves on, with new dramas appearing and receding into archival memory.

La Taqueria restaurant, situated on Cambie and Broadway, close to City Hall is on the move. The building is scheduled for demolition, making way for a new construction that promises more space and amenities. For patrons of La Taqueria, the move is only a block away. Within the messages of gratitude written on the walls, there is a recognition of moving on, for acknowledging that what was once, is no more. There is also a sense of excitement, anticipation, a commitment to accept what comes next.

“To every thing here is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Happy Canada Day

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July 1st is a special day for Canadians. We are celebrating the anniversary of July 1, 1867 when we became a Dominion. The Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867) united our three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a single Dominion.

Join me on a walk along the Vancouver Seawall and meet up with my friends, the family of Canadian Geese. It seems they know how to enjoy a day of relaxation even when they are positioned on the edge of the busy bike-path

“My dream is for people around the world to look up and to see Canada like a little jewel sitting at the top of the continent.” Tommy Douglas, Father of Medicare, Premier of Saskatchewan 1944-1961