Bridging Divides in Opportunity 

This morning I stripped the tree of ornaments and lights, then tossed it into the yard. Our neighbour Jason started the tree toss many years ago on New Year’s Day and though he and family have moved away, I’ve kept up our tradition with timing and, I hope, the same panache.

When I came back inside I saw where needles had been stripped and caught in doorways and smiled at that. I’ll sweep and vacuum, but inevitably find a needle in June. It’s happened before.

On a day that’s traditionally cast for dreaming and resolving, I like the symbolism of the small pieces of tree caught in the doorways. I like the transitions from one place to another. We can toss out the old year, but not entirely.

As Linus van Pelt would say, it was “a nice little tree”.  It lit our darkest days. We got it at a lot that supports Aunt Leah’s Place, an organization that helps prevent homelessness for youth who are transitioning out of foster care. It also helps moms in need from losing custody of their children. Aunt Leah’s was robbed of some of their trees this year. The thieves knew the most expensive kind, and took those. Sad, eh?

Aunt Leah’s Place focuses on important parts of transitions: housing, education, and job preparation. Programs support people to have solid foundations and hope for their futures. The tree lot fundraiser is run every winter, but they can use help at any time. You can offer funds, volunteer hours, or facilities. If you’re not familiar with Aunt Leah’s, have a look. They do good work.

The best to all, for hope and good work, as we transition into the New Year.


Photo: Rice Lake, December 30. 2016

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