hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Here's to the Future!

As I’ve pointed out, I’m a relatively recent (1995) arrival to Point Roberts. I’d like to see my life out here, but that’s not always something one can be entirely in control of as one gets to the end of a long road. So maybe I will, but maybe I won’t. I can’t imagine that my kids will ever come to live here. They have lives that began in other places and will end in other places, I’m pretty sure. My grandchildren will never come to make their homes here on the Point, either. They all visit, now and then, of course, but the Point experience is essentially one that Ed and I have chosen to have for ourselves, and it will end, for our families, with us.

There are a lot of people here with a similar story. And that’s one reason that people may be hesitant to plan for the distant future of Point Roberts, unwilling even to imagine that future. It isn't a future that they will ever be in themselves, of course, but it isn’t even a future in which their descendants will participate. It’s a future for strangers. For example, we’ve put a lot of effort into re-creating our house and yard and even as that work goes on, I know that the person, the stranger, who comes to live here after we’re gone may not even bother to leave our work standing, let alone love it, admire it, and remember us as we created it. On the other hand, we have tried to keep some parts of the house that were the work of our predecessors, the Brennie’s, identified and recognized. It is the Brennie’s very ordinary chest of drawers that I refinished and painted all over with flowers that sits in our bedroom and I think of it as theirs, not mine, even though I have contributed to its new appearance.

Anyway, connecting ‘what came before’ with the ‘me-filled right now’ with the amorphous ‘what is to come’ is no small task. And I am even thinking about it at all today because I received this morning an announcement via email that the purchase of the main Lily Point parcel of land has been completed by the Whatcom Land Trust.

“The Associated Press. Bellingham, Wash. -- Whatcom County is getting a 90-acre shoreline preserve that was once slated for development. Whatcom Land Trust officials said Friday that Lily Point has been purchased from Welsh Developments Inc. for $3.5 million. The scenic area was appraised at more than $4.3 million. It's at the southeast corner of Point Roberts between Boundary Bay and the Straits of Georgia.
Half of the funds were provided in a grant from the state Fish and Wildlife Department's new estuary and salmon restoration program. Land Trust President Chris Moench says Lily Point may be the most culturally and ecologically rich undeveloped private shoreline in the greater Puget Sound area. It's being deeded to the county for use as a marine reserve and public park, with the trust retaining a conservation easement.”

Now, the Whatcom Land Trust is in the business of conservation for the future, so I am not going to congratulate them particularly for their thoughtfulness, although certainly for their good work in getting the total package together. But I do want to congratulate all the people on the Point who helped to make this happen: first, Michael Rosser and the Taxpayers’ Association for initiating the effort to raise money on the Point, The Point Roberts Conservation Society for keeping the ball rolling, and Samantha Scholefield for working on a last-minute effort to gather some additional funds. Second, and even more, all the people--Americans, Canadians, anonymous donors, named donors, big donors, little donors--who contributed money for a future reality that they will pretty much never know. We can appreciate Lily Point’s new situation today, of course, but its meaning to the community will be fully known only far away in a future, by definition, beyond us.

I hope the future remembers that we did it for them. But if it doesn’t, that’s okay too. It’s pretty much something we forget to do, too: to remember, to think about, and to thank all the people who came before us for thinking about what we might need in that future that they wouldn’t be in, and for providing it. We were their future. Thanks to them and, today, thanks to us, too.

No comments: