Looking for the ‘keystone creatures’ in our own community

The goal is simple: make this place better than it was when we arrived

Almost from the beginning of when I launched Lambton Shield (in November 2010), I’ve been pursuing a goal: to leave this place in a better condition than it was when I arrived.

While I have absolutely no plans to leave anytime soon, it has also occurred to me that we really aren’t the ones who are in control.

Photo by James Pritchett on Unsplash.

This fact hit home with the loss last week of a dear friend who I had the privilege of walking with him through a battle with pancreatic cancer, from his diagnosis late last summer to his passing Friday night.

We just don’t know how long we have.

Even so, I believe we all have a responsibility, as best we can, to give what we are able to the community we call home.

And that’s what I intend to keep trying to do, through my connections, my storytelling, and my passion for making things better.

Those thoughts were underscored in a book I’ve just started reading, having been introduced to it through another friend who is using it as a discussion resource in a small group.

“The Bees of Rainbow Falls” is written by Preston Pouteaux, a Canadian pastor who has used the allegory (and his real-life experiences in Chestermere, Alberta) to examine what it means to “do good” on the kind of scale that honey bees accomplish.

Dr. Pouteaux, who serves at Lake Ridge Community Church (Chestermere is east of Calgary), is a beekeeper in his spare time, but the book is about more than what it takes to produce honey.

He refers to honey bees as “keystone” creatures, ones whose impact on their neighbourhood is much greater than their size might suggest. Millions of flowers—never mind the crops that we eat—rely on the pollination activities that bees provide.

But what does that have to do with our own lives here in Sarnia-Lambton?

For starters, we have our own human keystone creatures in our midst, and it’s my ongoing goal to connect with them and tell their stories.

I also hope to make a difference in our community by looking for opportunities, even beyond Lambton Shield, to do so.

None of us are as important as all of us together, but the idea of sharing our stories, inspiring one another to do good and to “leave this place better than when we arrived” is something to which we can all aspire.

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