By Michael J Morris
I took a different kind of walk on Good Friday joining the 10th annual Crosswalk through the heart of downtown Cranbrook.
On my usual walks in the area, I am thinking about empty buildings and ways to revitalize the city's downtown core but this was a different kind of experience.
Crosswalk was organized by Rev. Yme Woensdregt, incumbent of Christ Church Anglican, who was assisted by Rev. Frank Lewis, minister of Cranbrook United Church; Laird Siemens, chaplain at East Kootenay Regional Hospital and Joyce Aasland, lay minister at Christ Church.
At each stop, one of them gave a short talk and offered a prayer.
About 40 people braved the rain and cold wind to participate in the walk which started at the Clock Tower on Baker Street with different people carrying a large wooden cross to each point along the way.
As I walked along, my first thought was that we are all people of the village when all is said and done, and I recalled the words of the Spanish philosopher Cervantes, "There is more harm done in the village than was ever dreamt of."
Yes, there is, but on this Good Friday morning, I saw Cranbrook and its people in a much different light. At each stop along the Crosswalk, we witnessed an example of how people could focus on those things that can bring us together rather than divide us.
For example, the Clock Tower was built primarily by the Rotary Club of Cranbrook and is a wonderful showpiece in the downtown.
The first stop along the way was in front of Cranbrook City Hall, the seat of local government, and the place ideally where the people we elect to serve as mayor and councillors will devote all their efforts to make Cranbrook a better place for all citizens to live, work and play -- and hold activities like the Crosswalk in a free and democratic society
Next stop was in Rotary Park at the War Memorial where each in his or her own way remembered those who served in Canada's forces and those who did not come home. At Spirit Square, I could not help but think of the ways it contributes to bringing the community together, especially with music events in the summer months.
At the Law Courts building we were reminded of the justice system and all those involved in it - judges, lawyers, police officers, corrections officers, court workers, victims of crime -- and yes, those who commit crimes too.
We moved along to the Canadian Mental Health Association and were reminded of the work it does in the community and area. At the Community Connections Society building which houses the Women's Resource Centre, again, we were reminded of its work and the challenges it faces.
In a final prayer outside Christ Church Anglican before going into the church hall for refreshments, just as Rev. Frank Lewis was beginning, the sun peaked through the clouds, prompting him to comment, "God is shining down on us."
Yes, we are all people of Cervantes' village, but one simple walk through Cranbrook's downtown following along behind those who were carrying the cross, helped me see it all quite differently. Thank you all, and most especially the organizers for the experience, and thanks to my friend Joel Vinge for taking the photo. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Full disclosure: I am not now and never have been a member of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society; however, I did conduct a workshop for its members for which I was paid.