by Allison Smith –
Last January, I wrote: “The dawn of a new year always brings with it new hope, and none more so than this one.” Then, we were all looking forward to a new year, a fresh start, and hopefully a final goodbye to Covid. Surely 2021 would be better than 2020, we told ourselves. How could it be worse?
Despite those high hopes, 2021 has been another rough year, to say the least. The heartbreaking discovery of a mass grave at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School was quickly followed by similar finds at other residential schools. Record high temperatures at the end of June sparked wildfires and took lives. One of those wildfires quickly took hold of Lytton, B.C., largely destroying the entire town. In November, record rainfalls fell, resulting in landslides, flooding, loss of human and animal life, massive damage to critical highway infrastructures and the devastation of small communities. And now, with a vaccine available for young children and with it renewed hope that we might finally see the end of this pandemic, a new word enters our lexicon: Omicron.
So how to have faith that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, even when the tunnel is so long you may not see it? We concentrate on the good that comes from the bad – the volunteers who jumped in their boats to rescue marooned cattle, people and pets; the calls to action to expose and educate ourselves about the atrocities that occurred at residential schools; the local farmers who donate hay to feed livestock; the first responders who continue to work tirelessly to help others.
At Seaside, we put one page in front of the other: planning for the next year with new ideas, writers and columns. Cassidy Nunn is back in this issue with her new parenting column, Little Adventures (pg 31). ÁleeneĆ will continue this year; wonderful feedback from you has shown that writer Glenn C. Jim’s voice is very welcome. Peninsula Voices will be taken over by writer Stephanie Staples, who is excited to share with you some new stories of local residents, and Stephanie will also be taking on Deb’s Day Out (new column name TBD). And local filmmaker Tabatha Golat launches her column “Screen Scene” in this issue (pg 45) in which she’ll delve behind the scenes of some of her favourite films and series.
It’s our hope that we provide you with a bright spot every month, something to sit and relax with, and get immersed in for a little while, leaving the world and our worries behind. We hope you have a wonderful 2022, and that you are all safe and well.
Happy New Year.