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…

The Maker’s Medicine

In praise of Slow Booze: drinking more mindfully might be as easy as swapping mass-produced plonk for hand-crafted, small batch beverages. And PS Happy 10thanniversary, Pemberton Distillery.   The best drink I had over the festive season was a small plastic glass of port-wine, infused with herbs and hawthorn berries that yoga teacher Natalie Rousseau…

Gratitude: attitude or platitude?

Is gratitude the fix-all it’s made out to be? I was invited to start a gratitude practice — by someone I admire immensely, an unlikely pusher of positive psychology. I had resistance to the idea. To the very phrase, actually, and its ubiquity. Despite my squinty-eyed reaction, I agreed to participate in a daily gratitude…

Forget freely, remember collectively

I outsource memory. I don’t trust mine. So, when I see something that inspires me, I reach reflexively for my phone. Snap. Screenshot. Store. As I offloaded hundreds of images onto my desktop the other day, to de-bloat my phone, I saw how pointless this had been – all these things I’d wanted to sit…

The Downside of Deceleration

Most of my life, I’ve been in a hurry to get to the end of the task, the top of the heap, the other side. Then, somewhere approaching the midway point of life, I clued into the fact that racing to get to the end was not smart, and I should start thinking about ways…

Letting Go: on the first day of kindergarten

You expected me to cry, I bet. Granted, I nearly lost it when I glanced over and saw my husband tearing up. But I didn’t. I held it together. It was time. Everything was signaling it – from the five year old’s dead-forward focus climbing up the bus steps and heading off to kindergarten, to…