I have only been on this island less than two weeks but I am already starting to appreciate the people here. They are a rugged, quirky bunch, for sure, but they are kind hearted and community oriented while maintaining their individuality. I’ve been told that in the summer, when there are many passers through, people don’t pay much attention to you if they don’t know you—they figure you will be gone too soon for it to be worth it for them. It takes too much energy to build relationships with people who only come to take pleasure in this little island for a week, perhaps never to return. But when you are here in the off season, like now, people take a bit more notice. Perhaps you are not just a passer through.
Yesterday I got to go to the last grub and groove of the season. On the first Saturday of the month, from October through April, there is dinner and live entertainment at the community hall. Its just five dollars to get in and anyone can sign up to play music or perform some talent of theirs. There were quite a few people signed up for this last grub and groove, from a marimba ensemble to belly dancing to Bach concertos. The audience was intent on each performer, supporting and encouraging their fellow community members.
Today I went to Anicca’s birthday bike parade. She is Dave, the cobber’s daughter and she turned seven. There was a lively little crew of parents and kids, with a few tandem bikes and makeshift trailers for the little ones. I recognized many of their faces from the grub and groove and quickly was making friends. A little girl of only three, named Selúmia, struck me with her confidence and maturity. I noticed how Sam, her father, treated her with the utmost respect, like she was a fully capable and rationale human being.
The 8th insight talks about how the way we interact will change, beginning with our children. It is about a new way of relating to other people, to children and adults. It’s about naming control dramas and breaking through them and focusing on other people in a way that sends them energy. In this way we will build on each other’s energy rather than sucking energy out of each other. Children, in particular, must never be denied energy. We must give truthful answers to all their questions, in a language they can understand, and they should never be corrected or told no. This is how control dramas are created. Rather, you can help them reason their way to a smarter decision. Or some things they will have to learn for themselves.
As I take interest in the people around me I find they take interest in me. Soon Selúmia has taken my hand and is leading me down a path. Her father says I’ll be back to this island one day. Perhaps I will, but I don’t think it will be to stay. I think it will be to reconnect with the mystery, and to remind me of the work that needs to be done in the rest of the world—on the other side of the ferry.