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General News · 15th July 2018
Andy Vine
Cortes Island met on Saturday to celebrate itself as a caring and generous society that looks to the future and takes care of its residents in terms of housing. Already, we have a great little Seniors Village of small dwellings clustered together to accommodate seniors. Now the community has managed to purchase 50 plus acres of land to expand both the seniors housing and housing for people who cannot afford the ever-increasing cost of land and housing on the island.
It was a good meeting; well-conceived, well managed and hopefully successful in terms of its goal to raise money for the building program.
Being Cortes of course there was quite a bit of spiritual “content” but it all seemed to make sense. And I think the overwhelming reaction of those who attended was a reaffirmation of our choice to be here and live in this wonderful place and community.
We are a blessed bunch of people and we know it. At the same time, we mostly manage to maintain an appropriate humility around it. And we understand that what we share here on this island is vulnerable. The insidious forces of “gentrification” are already changing our lifestyle – not always for the better.
But at least we manage to maintain a certain simplicity to our way of life and an awareness of our role and responsibilities as planetary citizens.
I for one am very grateful to this island and its people. I feel like I have found my tribe and I know I am not unique in this. It is so wonderful to be able to talk with people about real stuff. It is so wonderful to see people hitch-hiking without fear. It is so wonderful to be part of a community whose religion is gardening! It is so wonderful to share a spirituality with so many people that is grounded, real and wholly practical!
And we still gather at the Coop Café to watch World Cup soccer on TV! We still love our fishing. We still cut down trees for lumber and firewood. And on that score, we recently had a community firewood giveaway day where needy folks and seniors received a half cord of wood for free.
Cortes Island is acquiring a certain fame and recognition as a somewhat idealistic and ideal community. And I think this is well deserved. But it also leaves us vulnerable to an influx of freeloaders. Luckily, most folks here are both tolerant and tough and the lazy and “entitled” don’t get much sympathy. Everyone needs to work and earn their keep in one way or another.
So, this new housing project is a continuation of a long tradition here on Cortes. May it be blessed with the wisdom and generousity for which this island is duly and deservedly renowned!