A question of growth

I read somewhere that your garden is a reflection of your personality. My garden has gone off-script. It is wild, unkempt, rangy, not willing to commit to any one single thing beyond the belief that there are mysterious forces at play in the natural world to which I surrender control. It’s utterly prolific and not…

Imperfect, but adapting to it

It’s an ugly truth. When I first encountered climber Craig DeMartino, I felt a little bit sorry for him. He was inspiring, for sure. Remarkable in his resilience, absolutely. But, with his right leg amputated below the knee, I saw the absence more than his remarkable presence. DeMartino was a professional climber and one of…

Voice Lessons

They say that your mother’s voice is the one you hear in your head, even as an adult, all your days. I reached a point when I realized that that was not going to work for me anymore. It was not the right voice. And so began a long slow exorcism, a careful, yet fitful,…

Why The Way of the Problem Solver

  I’m face-pressed into the concrete, lying on the floor, squinting under the stove. My five year old lost a piece of Lego. He runs to get a flashlight. It’s impossible to reach – his arms are too short, mine are too thick, to work our way deep under the heavy steel oven. We can…

The Starfish Collective

I’m having lunch with a friend when she confesses, “This climate change thing is really starting to worry me. My kids, you know? And it’s so big. And these powerful people are making crazy decisions. What can I possibly do?” I have the instant urge to grab her by the arm and yell: starfish, starfish,…

Rewilding the world, ourselves

Fear and yearning along the Sea to Sky: are rogue roadside campers symptomatic of a culture trying to get reacquainted with our exiled wild selves? There are vans and tents everywhere – pitched along the side of the road, the highway, the highway pull-outs, behind the Welcome to Whistler sign, on the road to the…

The Gift of Elders

It was hard not to imagine that someone let loose an art farm in the gym. An elementary school assembly is so full of twitchy energy. I half-wondered what possessed me to take up the open invitation to attend the National Indigenous People’s Day Celebration Assembly on a full moon at Signal Hill Elementary School…

Creative Sparks require Contact

In the spring, I sprinkled a small mason jar of biodynamic preparation 500 under my fruit trees and around my garden beds, just as Anna Helmer had shown me. There didn’t seem to be a very specific science to it, although I videoed her doing it and watched it over several times to make sure…

Saving the World, One Word at a Time

This story is featured in the summer 2019 Save the World issue of Coast Mountain Culture magazine. With thanks to editors Mike Berard and Tara Cunningham and art director Chris Rowat for their incredible contributions towards helping this story find its fullest and best expression. Of an estimated 7,000 languages spoken around the world, only 25 of them…

Don’t Die Curious

On May 22, 2019, the Class of 2033 had their kindergarten orientation. I drove past Signal Hill and saw the swell of improbably small and cute four and five year olds spilling out of the school, peeking in their welcome packets – 60 families on the cusp of a big transition. I distinctly remember sitting…