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This was my view as I lay on the stage of the sanctuary chatting with God and with my grandfather last week. It was the first time since starting this position that I had taken the time to pause and meditate. And I think I need to do it more often.

This last month has been very busy because I was excited about this new position and I wanted to hit the ground running. I filled my calendar very quickly. I set up a new office. I met with program leaders from 7 of our community partners and programs. I participated in 9 different social justice related Zoom workshops. I recorded, edited, & published promotional material for one of our partners and a couple of conversations on YouTube. I had short visits with many of you. And I collaborated a lot with the Social Justice Team as we identified areas of growing partnerships and began new avenues of support. The team also empowered me and gave me direction.

But I think I need to slow down. It was great to get up and running in short order. But the pace of October would be a quick journey to a burnout. I need to find that balance - that rhythm that affords sanity and contemplation and pause. This month, the reminder to pause came from a lesson learned. One of the partnership projects I took on this month ended up having to be cancelled because multiple parties were not fully consulted in the project. It was disappointing and invalidating. On one hand, it had accomplished it’s intention for helping the community. But on the other hand it didn’t honour all parties in the process. I had a good conversation with our partner and we both were apologetic to each other and recognized we both had good intentions for serving the community - and that we can continue to grow our partnerships in a way that honours all parties going forward. Anyway, when this happened, I had to take a break and walk into that sanctuary to find my peace and just breathe. I was reminded of how valuable a pause and prayerful meditation can be. It was healing and peaceful. It was like that fresh Fall air blowing on your face as you watch the trees dance in the wind and release their leaves.

There is a lot of work to do for social justice in Langley, both tangibly and emotionally. I’m excited for it. And there will be time for it. But there is also time to pause and breathe - to process the journey - to find our peace - to find the love.

Before I end, I also wanted to share the comical side of my lessons in October. I’ve learned that it is far too easy for Sherry and I to scare each other in this building. There are moments when the building is empty and quiet, with the occasional creak from the wind. Lights are mostly off for lack of need. And sometimes, as timing would have it, that just around the dark corner would be the other. And it’s a good scare, I tell ya. Who needs coffee then!?! Perhaps those moments also could use a pause and a breath.

Nigel (he/him)

I would like to acknowledge that I am on the traditional and unceded territories of the Kwantlen, sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie), Matsqui, and Semiahmoo peoples.