Community Blues Perspective
Our world is changing rapidly.
While naivety still resides in our hearts, with its quiet protection it gives us imagination, dream, belief of a world; kind, cooperative, with abundant good health. This naivety is our possibility, hope! probability!
While living on Salt Spring Island over thirty years I believe in our abundant community. It is the kind of community that embraces music, and all the arts. A community that celebrates farmers and their abundant harvest. A community that embraces theatre, education, hiking, sports and gardening. A community that has respect for its history. It’s original family's many who still farm, they too gift us their wisdom.
My earliest art showings were at The Saturday Market. I set up every Saturday for a number of years in this market, it helped launched my art career, as it did for many friends. My first art exposure there fostered a belief I could make a living selling my art. Duart became the backbone to this dream, he understood the business of selling my art, he helped make it happen.
Those early years of community while apart of The Saturday Market were with fellow artists/crafters and farmers; including Bill Goddu of Salt Spring Soap Works, Alvero Shanchez, Jeweller, Sandi Robbly, candlestick maker/sheep farmer, Rosalee Beach, veggie and flower grower. They all became our friends.
Late Fall most of us participated in Christmas Shows in SSI, Victoria, Vancouver and further to Alberta and Ontario. Salt Spring Island became known. We were the brave entrepreneurs, creatives. Most of us are still involved in our craft. Today Salt Spring Island is the same but different. Our kids are more often than not involved or running the business. They are all reared on the same hard work of ‘do it yourself’, reinvent yourself when the going gets tough. We support our community, buy from farmer friends and artistans. We celebrate our creative musicians, writers, potters weavers. Support The Lions Club, Lady Minto Hospital Auxiliary, Transition Thrift Shop, Firehall, Search and Rescue. We look forward to Movies at the local Cinema called ‘The Fritz’ in honour of their adopted Fritz the cat. Our Children sail the harbour after the prerequisite WhiteSail courses at The Salt Spring Island Sailing Club and groom their pets and projects all summer to show at The Fall Fair. Lauren’s rabbit ‘Loppy’ was honoured first prize ‘Fall Fair Champion Buck’. She with her Suffolk lamb ‘Survivor’ would walk through the market every Saturday. On Sundays, Jake her Shetland pony and Lauren would explore the back woods on our ten acre property, often to swim together at St Mary’s Lake.
In our early years on SSI we built our first home. Duart installed the septic, had hydro poles brought in, milled giant trees from the fallen. He designed and build our home. Learned plumbing, electrical, wood frame construction. As a family we lived the summers in tents on our land while we progressed with the build. With our two teenage daughters, after two years of construction we moved into a two story beauty, huge workshop and art studio. Duart added a two stall barn, paddock and garage. These were very real co creative times for our family. It was all possible because of community. Support came from the building inspectors, hardware and lumber stores, everywhere helpful expertise in our community supported our dream.
When crazy things happened on our island we would often say SSI is like a micro of the macro world. I now think we were all dreaming.
As technology and internet arrived to the world our island community adapted, yet through all the advancements and change in the world we still frequent and shop the same Thrift shops, active Lions Club, original red and white Firehall, The Fritz movie Theatre. The same Coast Guard Cottage, Windsor Plywood and Mouats oldtime Hardware Store. We know the owners, staff and families. We all volunteer and are neighbours.
The Saturday Market and Fall Fair are still fondly anticipated. Our island Christmas Craft shows are legendary. The Fall Fair is as popular as 30 years ago. Sheep judging, Gramma home baked pies, Firemen corn roasts, flower judging and children art shows.
But, this year is different. We will all be at home.
This is the first year our Saturday Market will not open Easter Weekend. Neither will The Easter Weekend ArtShow at Mahon Hall organized by The Island Arts Council. Mother’s Day weekend, The Round Salt Spring Island Sail Race, Fathers Day, The Summer Solstice Celebration, Canada Day Pancake Breakfast, and Birthday Cake in the park or live music at the TreeHouse Cafe.... what about these community events.
Will our island weather this global fear. Will artist, artisans, small business owners and dependable staff and their families weather the closures.
This year Salt Spring Island becomes like the macro. We are with the world. We are All one community.
The corona pandemic fear changed everything, uniting the world to one community.
We all have the same desires, we all want to be healthy, live peaceable, be loved, feel appreciated, have creative livelihood. We all want to be happy.
We are now called to become so much more.
Give our love, Respond in gratitude, Embrace our common dreams.
We stand sovereign, all of us in deepest love with our earth community.
From a ‘Community Blues’ perspective,
Warmest blessings for all your dreams to come true,
Jill and Duart Campbell
To purchase any of these paintings please click here