A solution worth the wait
To the Editor:
I’ve been mulling the various improvement/ferry marshalling issues in the cove even before I eventually moved to Bowen back in the Cretaceous, 31 years ago. It all seemed such an interesting, if often enough confounding, frustrating, and yes, sometimes almost other-worldly, consideration amid the eventual dissonance. The parade of remedial concepts has been erratically spaced over that period but the contributions have invariably been brave and quite often inspired.
That none of these ideas have materialized in whole or in part I take to be a reflection of our Gulf Island mentality and by that I mean that the uniqueness of our blessings is widely, indeed very intensely, recognized and accordingly cherished. For good or ill, circumspection is the order of the day (or decades, as the case may be) and if that induces ambiguity and stuttering hesitation, at least it means that we do very much care about where we’ve planted our arses. I doubt our friends across the water come close to sharing that motivation or have a kindred sense (illusory or otherwise) that they can make an abiding difference in the direction of their communities.
Of those living on a Gulf Island long enough, it seems that at some point most will develop an often begrudging tolerance for the ‘perpetual wait’ – it may be for the disrupted ferries, for the power to return after a storm, for the passing of the winter rains, or perhaps more relentlessly in our local instance, for an amenable sense of ‘fit’ to the niggling problems in the cove. If I’m right on that account, the worst of imaginable worlds is surely to advocate a change for the sake of change itself – as if all the bemused contention of the past was suddenly thrown aside merely TO GET SOMETHING DONE. I, for one, would love to see ‘something done’ but in a way that’s driven by informed, collective consensus – however difficult that may be to achieve, it’s the only approach that’s worthy of the vested wait to which we’re so inured.
Whatever solution may eventually precipitate out of this long and contentious history, it will surely have to be scaled in modest (perhaps even tiny), affordable steps. This doesn’t obviate optimally inclusive visions of the sort tabled by James Tuer and others but rather prescribes the only way in which we can begin to realise answers of that more inspired ilk - those abidingly worthy of the appreciation of our heirs. Of course that again requires the forbearance of waiting – but then there’s nothing new in that … for some of us at least.