Tuesday, May 26 – Drumming, Bonfires & Ospreys

By Dara Mac PEI, CANADA


PEI, like other provinces and countries around the world, is opening up from our Covid-19 lockdown. The province has just entered Phase 2, which includes shopping malls, car washes, pet grooming, and hairstylists. Nursing homes are still off-limits for visiting, and the gym is scheduled to reopen June 1.

Much to the dismay of many, the Premier announced that PEI would open applications to seasonal visitors beginning June 1. This includes roughly 3,500 seasonal residents who, according to Dennis King, contribute 50 to 80 million dollars to the local economy. The displeasure with this decision was witnessed with the RCMP being called to the Premier’s home, where an angry constituent visited his wife and 13-year-old daughter while Mr. King was away. It was also sensed in a heartbreaking address by the CMO, whose voice was shaken and close to tears as she asked islanders to be kind and be patient.

Thus far, we have been quite blessed on our tiny island with 27 of 27 cases recovered, no hospitalizations and no deaths due to Covid-19, many thanks to our CMO, Dr. Heather Morrison. Hearing the emotion and exhaustion in her voice brought tears to my eyes and compassion for her in this difficult situation. We are operating under a Conservative mandate which favors business and economy over the health and wellbeing of Islanders. Perhaps, the current, peaceful, lockdown resolution to the Invisible War may not be any more sustainable than the previous Liberal government’s demand on front line Mental Health workers, which forced excellent workers out and pushed me into retirement.

But the sobering reality hits me again. I have not seen my son and his wife for close to two years, and their plan to visit PEI this summer is fading faster than the day’s light. I’m not sure when we will visit again. They had planned to spend a month on PEI then have a larger family visit with his 90-year-old Gramma and family in Ottawa. For now, I am grateful that they are doing well, and I will continue to prepare for the next visit.

I am enjoying the process of growing microgreens, which began as a conversation about a friend’s daughter’s hobby. I learned how to repair scratches on a vehicle by simply using soap and water and paper towels after a friend convinced me that it was not so difficult. The garden shed exterior is painted, ready for the trim, and then that same friend gave me some great ideas on how to organize the garden tools inside. There’s nothing like a pandemic to really show you who your friends are.

I’m grateful to be drumming every day and to be connected to a great drumming community on PEI via weekly Zoom sessions. What a blessing to have this passion and daily activity in my life and to have some incredible educators guide me along this path. Daily walks on the beach remind me of how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful place. Fresh seafood from the local fishers is a gift to cherish. Of all the places I’ve lived, PEI is my true home; it’s where my heart is and where my roots are. Wherever you may be, just remember to “Enjoy the moment twice.”