West Van Fire Fighters Plant a Forest of Miracles: 100 Trees in 29 Minutes
In so many corners of the world, and our country, we witness a state of affairs that can be completely demoralizing. From a new generation of super storms laying waste coastal settlements as diverse as Manhattan and Tacloban, to abuses of power that show no regard for the rule of law or moral seemliness, it may seem that the prospects of living secure in a deeper, richer humanity are receding. The best way to answer any temptation to despondency is to look closely at the details of what's actually working, to find the heroism and valour that endure and shine out in the darkness. We don't have to look very far.
West Vancouver's firefighters descended on Dundarave Beach this morning like an angelic platoon. In 29 minutes they transformed the beach, planting 100 grand firs -- the most spectacular trees the Festival's ever seen -- in 29 minutes. They took us from bare ground to a forest of miracles at a rate of 3.4 minutes per tree.
Great Canadian Landscaping helped in a big way, prepping the site the morning before. Before they could dig the holes for the trees, the Great Canadian crew had to use blow torches to thaw the sod.
Here's why the planting of the trees was heroic. The morning the ground was thawed out and the holes dug, we saw a man who had been sleeping the night at Dundarave Beach. He had no socks and not much of anything else, but he managed to survive a minus 4 degree night.
In a powerful way, the first responders to the fact of his homelessness, and the fact of the growing numbers of our friends, neighbours and family on the North Shore who are or are at risk of homelessness, come from the ranks of West Vancouver's firefighters.
They have yet again, and again with a spirit of camaraderie shot through with a pragmatic joy, helped us put into the ground a forest of Christmas trees that has to date raised over $105,000 for the Lookout Emergency Aid Society's North Shore Shelter. In less than half an hour they have shown the true spirit of our community, and the bright spirit of the coming Christmas season, by making sure all of us have the means to make sure no one is left out in the cold.
We owe them more than our thanks.
It is in our hands now to be heroic in our own right. Join the Festival's tree sponsors for the Dundarave Christmas Fair -- the most epic Christmas tree decorating party in Canada -- Noon to Dusk, Saturday November 30th. Give generously to the Lookout Emergency Aid Society North Shore Shelter by making donations to celebrate your favourite tree. Click here to make it happen. You don't have to be Superman to end homelessness. You just have to have the heart of a hero, like the West Van firefighters who this morning brought a forest of miracles to Dundarave Beach.
The Dundarave Festival Society
We are a circle of friends working in the Dundarave Festival of Lights Society to bring to life the promise of Christmas in our community, a season of life, passion and purpose that leaves no one in the cold. This is community-driven social change, in the true spirit of Christmas and the best spirit of our community.