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,…

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,…

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…

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…

When Farmers and Writers Talk Shop

Frontier thinking. Everything you do happens at the place where your ideas meet your idea of the world. This is the time of year when the farm machines roll full-tilt out of winter hibernation. At least, that’s how Andrew Budgell speaks of it. Co-owner of Laughing Crow Organics, one of Pemberton’s small scale organic mixed…

Uncontainable

Soundtrack: This time last year, I was writing obituaries. I wrote a lot of them. This month, I’ve been grateful for the ability of other people to put some of the grief and loss swirling through our community into words. It’s the thing about loss – it knocks the wind out of you, and with…

Are you smarter than a tree?

It didn’t weird Dr Suzanne Simard out, when I told her I talk to trees. Dr Simard is a professor of forest ecology with UBC and the researcher behind the viral TED talk that introduced the general public to the idea that trees communicate with other trees, and share information, carbon, energy, in collaboration with…

Craft cider: here’s to a drink that literally grows on trees

“You know that rule in skiing or biking where you don’t look at the tree you’re trying to avoid?” says Kathleen van der Ree, one half of Squamish’s Northyards Cider Co (and a partner with law firm Race and Co “on the side”.) Having grown up in a family of restauranteurs, van der Ree spent…

Where wonder takes up residence

There is a place where you don’t need words to make deep deep sense of the world. Kera Willis’ Mountain Horse School is a gateway to that place. Kera Willis has a secret agenda. In any of her students – whether they’re a child coming under the guise of taking horse-riding lessons or attending a…

Coming down from Treeline

Can a quiet and deeply thoughtful piece of film provoke radical action? Jordan Manley’s Treeline makes the case. This morning, on my way home from the school bus-stop, I detoured via a small patch of Douglas-Fir – the grandfather tree, called Srap7ul, in Ucwalmictws, the language of the Lil’wat Nation, meaning “something standing upright.” I found a…