When a Vulcan colleague asks Spock why he keeps a copy of 20th Century artist Marc Chagall’s The Expulsion from Paradise in his quarters aboard the Enterprise, the stoic science officer so eloquently states: “It is a reminder to me that all things end.” — Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
It is of endings that I wish to speak, my loyal readers. After four and a half years covering countless council meetings, multiplex whatnots, community events and election after election after election, my time in Moose Jaw and at the Times-Herald has inevitably come to an end.
How I will miss squeezing in those obscure Star Trek references and Philosophy 101 concepts into the weekly blasphemous diatribe that has become my Thoughts column. However, like a folksy, upbeat Gordon Lightfoot song from his 1972 Don Quixote album, “Oh the Prairie lights are burning bright; the Chinook wind is a-movin’ in.” Folks, I am Alberta bound — chasing that Calgary dream all the way to … Calgary.
But as I prepare for a new life back in the province of my upbringing, I am left a touch saddened, or at least with a heightened sense of nostalgia, for the community I shall leave behind. Moose Jaw is a very special place, after all.
I will miss walking along Main Street amidst the majestic brick structures that largely define this architecturally-phenomenal community. I will miss stories in which I get to interview Heritage Moose Jaw president Brian Bell to hear his enthusiastic, passionate telling of the rich history behind these buildings.
I will miss taking any opportunity I can to write stories involving local churches and religious activities there-in. I will miss the singular wit of retired Rev. Doug Shepherd, who exemplifies an open, positive Christian attitude that even an atheistic über-sinner such as myself can recognize and celebrate.
I will miss regular council meetings — the best show in town featuring the sort of debate, conversation and judicious conflicts that make municipal politics so exciting and rewarding. I don’t want to name-drop any councillors who are or might be running in the upcoming election (although I think they’re all quality people), but I will definitely miss retiring Mayor Glenn Hagel, who might possibly be the happiest person I’ve ever met. The amazing thing about him is I get the impression he is a genuinely joyful person, which is something I find truly inspiring.
No doubt, I could go on and on, mentioning an endless list of people I’ve met in Moose Jaw with whom I've enjoyed working, conducting interviews or just bumping into on the street. I’m a believer: This is the Friendly City.
Writing for a newspaper such as the Times-Herald certainly does give one the privilege of becoming a part of a community, and meeting so many good people who pour their energy into making that community a success.
I will miss simply being a part of such an environment — buying groceries at the Co-op or wine from the Saskatchewan Liquor Board, jogging through Wakamow Valley or snoozing under the sun in Crescent Park, praying for the beer batter at Millar Express games or cheering on the Warriors in a match against those Pats. This is my home, and I feel myself to be both a proud Moose Javian and a Saskatchewanite. As Irony would have it, now that I feel this way I must leave.
But that’s OK. All things end. The Buddha teaches: “Everything changes; nothing remains without change.”
The Times-Herald has certainly seen its share of changes in recent. My departure is but the latest transition for your best daily source of local news. Without question, the transitions shall continue at this paper (as with anything else) until it no longer exists.
Change is like many things in life — how it impacts us is largely dependent on our attitude towards it. While one should not be a proverbial doormat to the evolving universe, one should not desperately cling to the way things temporarily are either. It is useful to be mindful and attempt to prepare for and direct inevitable change along a path of one’s choosing.
I believe it is important to deal with change as a process, frame one’s thinking to see change as positive, and simply relax and enjoy life for what it is — including the changes that come with it. In this process, remembering the past is a valuable tool to acting with intent in the present, resulting in perhaps a better future (no guarantees of course).
When I think about my time in Moose Jaw, I certainly like to do so through a positive lens. While I’m still the sort of narcissistic nincompoop who would have the arrogant audacity to centre an entire 865-word column around himself, I still believe the last four and a half years have taught me some things about being part of a community and assuming the responsibilities that entails.
And therefore, my loyal readers, I leave this place a better person then when I arrived. I boldly go forth to my new life — with a new job in a big city — confident that Moose Jaw has prepared me for what lies ahead.
Carter Haydu cannot be reached at 691-1265.