|Auchmithie's former harbour...|
where the women carried the men to the boats.
Surpassing the power of the moving water, however, has been the immense power and resilience of the human spirit. In the two weeks since, Canada (whose 146th birthday we celebrated yesterday) has been deeply touched by the strength and courage of the people of Calgary, High River, Canmore and the many other communities whose collective lives have been turned inside out by this event. The media images of neighbours, working alongside emergency personnel, assisting and supporting one another in the midst of such difficult circumstances touches and warms the heart.
Strength of spirit is deeply inspiring. Sometimes, it is evident in dramatic events. Most often, however, it is at work quietly, in everyday moments and experiences.
Just before leaving Scotland, we did a coastal hike along the sandstone cliffs that face the North Sea to visit a tiny village. Auchmithie perches bravely atop the 120 foot cliffs. It was once an important fishing center and it is where the hot smoked haddock, known around the world as the Arbroath Smokie, originated.
|The harbour sea walls, now eroded by the waves and tides.|
The women also had another job.
There was no jetty, and to ensure that the men began their long day at sea with dry clothing, the women would carry the men to the boats. I was touched when I heard that story. It is about the strength of spirit that enriches each and every one of us when we are able to courageously acknowledge our need for one another - and then offer generous and selfless assistance and support.
To the courageous folks of southern Alberta, and the men and women of old Auchmithie, your example is deeply inspiring.