Photo: Day three: Coastal Connections Tour with David Suzuki

(Credit: Janice Williams)

By Panos Grames, Communications Specialist

It's truly impossible to predict how a day will unfold. Even one when you do everything you plan — wake with your alarm, go to work in the usual way, hit all your scheduled appointments and meetings, go to sleep at the usual time — because you can never foresee your conversations with people or your interactions with the world around you. And that's where things can get very, very interesting.

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On our Coastal Connections Tour with David Suzuki, we have a tight schedule. We're going to 12 towns in 12 days, so just getting from venue to venue, setting up the halls, meals and accommodations must be organized to the last detail. Things have been anything but predictable.

We hit all our marks on day two, arriving in Port Alberni on Tuesday after a stop in Cathedral Grove to marvel at the ancient Douglas Fir trees in one of the few remaining patches of old growth forest on Vancouver Island. The Tseshaht First Nation welcomed us into their community and the townspeople attended in droves. Wednesday (day three) had two events: Comox at noon followed by Campbell River at 6 p.m.

We've listened to local First Nations Chiefs, city councillors and mayors. David Suzuki has given rousing speeches. But it's what we're hearing from the audience members — shop owners, fishers, retirees, students, writers and people of every other occupation you could imagine — that's most inspiring.

(Credit: Janice Williams)

People are telling us about their hopes for renewable energy development and their desire for participatory democracy. They're articulating their personal relationship to the natural world, and speaking about witnessing ecosystems change before their eyes and feeling profound loss.

Every room has been packed to capacity — with bodies, yes, but also with incredible hope and a sense of relief that there are others out there who care and desperately want to make a difference.

Together, I think we can.

Today, we go to Alert Bay.

June 4, 2015

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