Monthly Archives: May 2014

The End Before the Beginning – by Kate Maurice


Pass It On meeting

As Pass It On draws to a close for another year, I find myself in that same parallel of emotions I feel every year at this time. I am sad to part ways with the young women I’ve spent the past year with. Although we live in a small town and see each other often here and there, the connection we’ve built over the past year will shift as our time together will be one in passing instead of the intimacy of your Pass It On circles. And I also feel some relief. One less pressure, one less commitment and more room to spend with my family and animals, friends and garden.

But between this sadness and relief is always the worry of next year. The unknown of the non-profit and funding. Will there be enough funding to carry our little program one more year? It reminds me of my childhood when every June my father (an elementary teacher at the time) would be laid off. The concern and displacement he felt – regardless of his efforts as a teacher – to have to wait and see if he would be hired again. Pass it On rests every year in that purgatory. Despite my best efforts and the keen interest and success of the young women in my group, the program`s fate rests on a dime, and who will give it.

If Pass it On does not get the funding it needs to run again next year, I would be okay. I would miss it deeply but the program is a small one that carries a large impact. And that is what worries me about lack of funding, if the program were not to run. The loss of a program that nourishes and strengthens so many young women. Young women I see changed in the course of a year. In their confidence and compassion. If Pass It On does not run, who or what will fill the gap and who can judge how great the loss?

Pass It On directly influences approximately 30 grade 8 to grade 12 girls. Plus 20-30 more grade 8 girls through workshops facilitated by Pass It On. But how many are affected and changed by those 50 odd young women? Imagine what they create and enhance with their own enhancements. We effect each other greatly with our moods and responses. I hope the young women of Salt Spring continue to have the opportunity to be a part of Pass It On. To mentor, to grow, to share. I know it is not uncommon for amazing programs to lose funding and melt away leaving room for gaps and new things to fill those holes. But I also know when you tend a plant it grows strong, as opposed to replanting and neglecting over and over. Maybe as a community and a society we will continue to give and support small but incredibly important programs like Pass It On so we can mature in many positive ways as a People.

Kate Maurice – Coordinator Pass It On Program


Do donate to the Pass It On program or to SWOVA so we can continue our work with youth, please visit our website:





Spring Has Sprung – by Kate Maurice


Even with the chill at nights, the birds of morn sing the songs of spring. Life on Salt Spring pluses with the energy of beginnings. People out to the Saturday market, planting gardens and falling in love. The energy is contagious. Even among the young women of Pass it On, the days are full as can be with activities outdoors and a fuller plate that comes with longer days.

We have been speaking of spring at Pass it On and what it means to all of us. In our day and age when so many of our lives are spent indoors and less effected by the turn of seasons – except for determining foot wear – spring has a way of asserting itself upon us with it’s energetic buzz.  At least here on Salt Spring people have spring in their steps. Spring does herald a time of births, the arrival of blossoms and daffodils, fresh grass, nettles and baby lambs. But, after a warm spring day the evenings are always cool and with birth, death sits on the other side.

This week as spring hit my road with a bang, our cow gave birth to a baby boy. He’s beautiful and healthy and it’s amazing to witness his first every things. But within days of the occasion, a neighbor and friend passed. I am always jarred by death. There is beauty in it but why does it not hold the same wonder that birth brings with it? For it is a passage into a new beginning and birth also the ending of what was before.

The ladies in Pass it On have spoken to their fears or avoidance of death. As if ignoring or denying it, we could bypass the experience. Most of us carry an amazing amount of attachment to life. I know I do. But perhaps we are doing one another a disservice in our avoidance or denial of what is to come. Perhaps the unknown of our time here and the wonder of that final crossing can enable us to be more present with the beauty and fragility of each day. Each bird song, each warm afternoon, each cool spring eve, each star rise can awaken our spirit and lead us to be more truly ourselves.

 Kate Maurice – Coordinator, Pass It On Program





Photo: Megan Manning