time is a wasting

The colours of spring abound. Our blue Arctic lupines and the showy Jacob's ladder's share this time with the bright yellow flush of horned dandelions and others of their kin.

The colours of spring abound. Our blue Arctic lupines and the showy Jacob’s ladder’s share this time with the bright yellow flush of horned dandelions and others of their kin. The small ground hugging wild strawberry plants show of white flowers this year promises an abundance of their tiny fruit by the end of the month. And of course the glory and fragrance of the Maytree right now cannot be denied.

The brief rapid rush of spring into our Yukon summer quickens the heart and soul. The last vestiges of winter ice on the gravel bars of the Yukon River and the snows accentuating the folds and hollows of surrounding mountains certainly remind us of where we are but the glories of June in the Yukon will not be suppressed.

The rhythms of the seasons each have their own cadence and melody. This time of our year drives the brief refrain of melancholia caused by the late snows two weeks ago far back into our collective memory. The song sung now definitely has an up tempo lilt to it though not yet at the frenetic beat summer will induce in a few weeks as an accompaniment to the midnight sun.

No matter, though, how much we try to turn up the seasonal volume with our increased outdoor activity, the world will not be shut our. The smell of smoke in the Whitehorse valley these last few days and the deep bass of water bomber engines overhead sound the all too harsh note that this is also wild fire season. We can not filter out either the global reality which the media exposes us to continually. The persistent din of bloody demonstrations in Syria or an e-coli outbreak in Europe will not be silenced however loud we try to chant, “Go, Canucks, go!”

The world pulls out our ear plugs no matter how hard we try to ignore its urgent pleadings and enjoy our time in the sun. My son Liam Skyped from Puno, Peru, earlier this week. Sitting at nearly 3,900 metres this southern Peruvian town on the shore of Lake Titicaca saw rioting last week. It caused the Bolivian border to be closed, stranding some tourists and deterring others from visiting this tourist-dependent town.

Protesters torched the government customs building and several cars. The rampage by some targeted other government buildings as well while thousands of others blockaded rail and road access into this city of over a 100,000. Liam told me that the protests have been suspended temporarily in the lead up to Peruvian presidential run-off elections on Sunday.

Most of the demonstrators have come from the Aymara communities surrounding Puno. The source of their grievances has been laid at the foot of a government decision to award a silver mining concession to the Vancouver-based Bear Creek Mining Corporation with little consultation. Indigenous opponents believe the proposed mine will pollute water flowing into Lake Titicaca leaving only environmental liabilities and little benefit for local peoples. Does their concern sound familiar?

A spring-like attitude should permeate our thinking at least once a year. The need to periodically examine our own winter-worn habits and perspectives is as necessary as spring cleaning. Maybe with the renewed energy and optimism natural to this season we can spend a little time contemplating what we really need to do to make poverty history or in the spirit of World Environment Day think about what should be done to reverse global warming. Time is a wasting, let’s get at it.

Michael Dougherty is co-chair of the social justice committee of Sacred Heart Cathedral of Whitehorse. Contact pazypan@yukon.net.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An avalanche warning sigh along the South Klondike Highway. Local avalanche safety instructors say interest in courses has risen during the pandemic as more Yukoners explore socially distanced outdoor activities. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News file)
Backcountry busy: COVID-19 has Yukoners heading for the hills

Stable conditions for avalanches have provided a grace period for backcountry newcomers

Several people enter the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Coast High Country Inn Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 26. The Yukon government announced on Jan. 25 that residents of Whitehorse, Ibex Valley, Marsh Lake and Mount Lorne areas 65 and older can now receive their vaccines. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Vaccine appointments available in Whitehorse for residents 65+

Yukoners 65 and older living in Whitehorse are now eligible to receive… Continue reading

Diane McLeod-McKay, Yukon’s Ombudsman and information and privacy commissioner, filed a petition on Dec. 11 after her office was barred from accessing documents related to a child and family services case. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government rejects Ombudsman requests for documentation filed to Supreme Court

Diane McLeod-McKay filed a petition on Dec. 11 after requests for documents were barred

Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)
Cozens notches first NHL goal in loss to Capitals

The Yukoner potted his first tally at 10:43 of the second period on Jan. 22

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, actress charged after flying to Beaver Creek for COVID-19 vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

Most Read