A couple weeks ago I attended my first ever POCAfest with friends from my local clinic (Guelph Community Acupuncture) and left with my heart full and my head spinning.
There is still so much for me to learn as I reflect on the weekend, but one already recurring theme is the importance of bringing everyone together, to share space, to tell stories, to speak openly and honestly, to feel the strength that comes from joining hands with those who share our visions. The workshops, the people, the literature, the anecdotes – there was plenty to appreciate across these 48 hours, but my favourite part of the weekend was the closing. No big speech, no rallying cry, but free flowing tears and unencumbered gratitude spilled across the room- nods of assent and understanding, echoes of safety, belonging, community, support.
It is as vital for us to hold each other in the vulnerability of joy, gratitude, and relief, as in pain, isolation, and despair.
I am so grateful. For the small acts of care between new friends. For the freedom to walk away, to cry, to play music on the grass. For the willingness to admit imperfection. For the shared desire to be together. For the carefully chosen words, for the readiness to learn, to disagree, to find common ground. For the acupunks -all the treatments you have given, all the teachers you have had, all the lessons you have gleaned and arrived ready and willing to share. I'm grateful for the journeys that led each of us to cross paths at POCAfest, and I would love for us to keep sharing this gratitude, for our supports, for clinics, for patients, for practitioners, for moments of peace, for a small piece of chocolate, for a timely good omen, for a pinecone given by small hands, for anything that strikes you as a gift.
I invite you all to share your gratitude, however nominal it may seem.