Editor’s Note

Reflections, connections and making plans

By Jim Poling, editor-in-chief

This truly is the season of building. Building as in going forward, forging understanding, furthering traditions and strengthening community.
In this Holiday issue of Grand, we reflect on the people, traditions, history and thought that goes into defining our cultures and, more importantly, our community.
There are several features here that will contribute to your holiday spirit and understanding. Jaya James of Guelph’s Lakeside HOPE House is a bridge builder: “Humans aren’t made to walk through life alone,” she says, offering insight into the frailties and strengths of our community.
There’s another role model in Melanie Goodchild, a senior fellow and associate at the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience. She talks a lot about life’s circle and how people and place and community are connected. No one lives alone and that includes the people, land and spaces around us.
This is a season of connections and we’ve tried to run that thread through all the stories and photography in this issue. We bring you makers who express their creativity through many mediums, such as clay, cork and paper.
Who would have ever thought you could paint with paper? Not pigment, but paper!
Who thought making a pie crust was difficult? Check out Charmian Christie’s “Easy as Pie” feature for no-fail fixings that will help you conquer Christmas.
Jasmine Mangalaseril brings an interesting and seasonal feature that focuses on cultural dishes. In this edition she explores holiday food traditions in Israel, Japan and Sweden.
Food, cultural insight and community living.
To deepen the pot, we also did a little travelling and thought it important to explore the Holy Land. Andrea Perry goes beyond the surface in Israel and bears witness to the many layers of beliefs and history to explore a land and time that is larger than any of us. It is a poignant and beautiful read and her observations give pause for reflection.
This is a special issue for us. It wraps up a year of sharing wonderful stories from Waterloo Region and Guelph. Reflecting is important because it gives us a sense of where we come from. Building is more important, for it charts our path ahead and makes us a stronger community.