Kindness. Contemplation. Creation. Connection.
Today was filled with gratitude, learning and sharing.
Many children visited the little tent of creation today at the Youth World Climbing Championships. Several of them were so happy to be able to paint and express themselves on a flag for everyone to see, that they kept returning to the our little corner of the site, and hugged me and thanked me as they were leaving! I was tickled pink to receive such spontaneous kind gestures! It made my heart light and warm.
Today, I learned the word for “goodbye” in Halkomelem. Halkomelem (Halq’eméylemqel), is the language of the Salishan, one of the First Peoples of the North West Coast, the people who were here when explorers began to sail into these waters.
The phrase (if I remember correctly) is ‘haiya welcsh siem’, which is a respectful way of saying goodbye. I learned this from Bear, a man from Tsartlip First Nation. We had a long, interesting conversation, and he gave me a beautiful river rock on which he had painted the four directions in the four colours of the human races around a blue sphere. I will make a flag inspired by this symbol. It’s very meaningful to me. Bear also wrote on a flag words in Halkomelem, “Hiswke xals siem tte ne Tsartlip osiem” a message of deep gratitude to the Creator for this place and people. He asked me to trace around the letters. I see this as a symbol of connection and sharing. Two cultures coming together respectfully and gently.
Later in the day, John, the man who started “Climbers Against Cancer,” dropped by the tent to draw a flag with a team of climbers. He drew a peace symbol in which he wrote “peace” and “love.” He was so happy he was practically hovering above the ground.
By the end of the day we made about 65 flags in about 4 hours. That’s as many as I was able to keep track of. It was busy, and I kept forgetting to take pictures! I’ll do my best to remember for tomorrow’s post.
This event is so wonderful! It has brought together people from around the world, working together in harmony. It is wonderful and uplifting. A very positive experience! The climbing community is made up of really nice people. What’s more, it’s accessible to anyone, regardless of age, sex or physical shape!
More tomorrow from the Youth World Climbing Championship at Boulders Gym at Stelly’s Cross School in Victoria BC!