Category Archives: Inspiration

Falling in love with BC all over again.

I have spent many moons traveling the globe and I regularly fall in love with different lands but BC will always be my first and strongest love. Nothing beats hanging out in an arbutus tree in a field full of camas, or laughing by a campfire on the edge of the ocean, or trekking for a spectacular view in the mountains, or swimming in a pristine lake miles down an old logging road. It is the natural, rugged, beauty of BC that makes it the incredible place that it is. I feel so fortunate to live and have access to such amazing landscapes. On my trip up to Prince Rupert for the rally I decided to go by land as I hadn’t spent much time up in that area. I took a bus up to Prince George and then the train up to Rupert. The train was amazing! In the winter VIA Rail puts the glass observation car on that route and you can ride in it for no extra charge (in the summer it is first class). It was like watching a live IMAX show for 12 hours! I saw moose and eagles and mountains and rivers and just the most spectacular vistas ever. I actually didn’t take many photos on the train as I was just soaking it all in. I was adamant about protecting BC wilderness before the trip but after the journey I began to understand the true impact that unchecked industry growth would have in those areas.

On the train trip up I was adopted by a group of friends that I loved immediately :) They were from the Hazelton area and it was great to hear their perspectives on industry growth in their neck of the woods where industry feeds many a mouth. Hazelton is pretty close to the Sacred Headwaters where Shell had begun drilling for coalbed methane before the local community got together and fought it, resulting in a temporary moratorium. The Sacred Headwaters is the birthplace of three major salmon bearing rivers (which are hugely significant to the livelihoods and economy of the whole area). I really appreciate Wade Davis’ perspective on the situation. He knows the importance of the energy industry and the fact that it is necessary however he believes that there needs to be more discussion and legislation around WHERE and HOW they happen. It is important not to develop in sensitive areas that will devastate cultures and other industries. I am not against development and growth, I just think we need to be smart and forward-thinking about it.

While I was up in Prince Rupert, the weather was uncharacteristically mild and gorgeous for that time of year and I got some spectacular sunsets :)

After the rally, my new adoptive family invited me to come to Hazelton where I spent a night sleeping next to the Skeena river. So blissful!

I ended up flying back from Smithers which was not my initial travel plan but in the end I was happy I did. The BC mountains are so gorgeous. I adore seeing the different formations and imagining how they were created. Seeing the landscape from that height puts interrelationships into a whole new perspective. Everything is connected. Work done on a mountainside is going to effect the valley. Development upstream is going to have extensive effects downstream. Nothing happens in isolation.

I’ll leave you with images from the trip up and back. I went a little overboard with the mountain shots but I couldn’t help it. Mountains are so cool!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The inner ear and a big timeout.

The last two months have been such an incredibly wonderful and horrid journey. On May.3rd, I woke up in the middle of the night and the world was spinning (imagine drunk spins but times it by a thousand). Honestly, I thought I was dying from a brain aneurysm. It felt that wrong. I couldn’t stop throwing up. I called my parents to take me to the hospital so Gene could stay home with Ella. When we got to the hospital, the doctor said it was an inner-ear infection and, since it was viral, I just had to wait it out. They gave me tranquilizers and gravol. For two weeks, I couldn’t function at all. All I could do was sleep and stare at the wall. Through physio I learned that when your brain is recovering (which apparently it had to do after the infection) it takes in every bit of stimulation that is in its environment in order to recreate learning pathways that may have been effected. Normally, our brains block out all unnecessary messages and just concentrate on the info important at that time. Because my brain was on overdrive EVERYTHING was overwhelming. Every sight, sound and touch was pretty unbearable. After two weeks I was able to move around a bit but I was still constantly nauseous and my head just felt strange. I couldn’t handle anything electronic (no tv, no computer, no cellphone) and I had no energy. That was my life for two months. So what about the journey was so great?

Super amazing part of the journey key point #1- My family rocks my world. They are so incredibly loving and supportive and kind that I tear up just thinking about it. My Mom and Dad put their lives on hold to look after Gene, Ella and I for TWO MONTHS. They took Ella to school, they made us meals, they nursed me back to health. They are my heroes. Gene soldiered on at work and tried his best to stay strong while he was freaking out inside that he might lose his wife (there was a good chunk of time that we weren’t convinced it was my inner ear. The other alternatives were pretty scary.) Ella, my sweet sweet child would bring me blankets and kiss my forehead. Family, everything I do I do for you. You are my heart and soul and nothing in the world means more to me than you.

Super amazing part of the journey key point #2- I was forced to unplug for two months. The only thing that would ease my symptoms was to go outside and sit in nature. Lucky for me, my parents recently got a 7 acre slice of nature heaven. That land helped heal me. I sat with the sheep and the birds and the bugs and the sun. The body and mind have always fascinated me and this whole experience has led to some interesting insights for me. Because stimuli was so overwhelming I became acutely aware of just how much our bodies take in on a daily basis. You know that feeling when you go camping and you are in nature and you just feel so at peace. In the past, I mostly attributed that to the fact that I was on vacation and didn’t have to be on any schedule. I could just relax. Well now I know that it has a lot more to do with the difference in stimuli bombardment. In nature, the whole palette is neutral and calm. In our cities, everything is screaming for our attention. Ads, signs, phones, radios, screens. While we have become conditioned to tune it out and deal with it, it is still effecting our bodies and brains. I actually listened to an interesting program on CBC the other day about an experiment where two groups of people were giving an exam. Before the exam, one of the groups was walked down a busy street while the other did not. The group that walked down the busy street scored lower on the exam. My longwinded point here is that even though I was sick, being away from all the screens that are so much a part of my life felt so much healthier.

Super amazing part of the journey key point #3- Before getting sick, I spent a lot of late nights on my computer editing images because that was the only time I had without a toddler interrupting ;) Really late nights and early mornings led to a pretty decent coffee habit. Tired + coffee = bad eating habits. Really I just had a horribly unhealthy cycle going on. While I was sick, I couldn’t drink coffee or alcohol. I couldn’t spend time on the computer. I spent a lot of time nurturing my body with good whole foods trying everything in my power to get healthy again. Getting sick completely reset my clock and habits. In a way it was the best thing that could of happened to me. Now I am so so grateful for my health and my body and I take time to fuel it properly ;)

Blah, blah, blah! I should really just use my camera to tell the story.

Reconnecting with nature and family:

Organic Islands Festival

It was a fabulous weekend at Organic Islands Festival. There are always lots of great vendors that support and inspire sustainability. The reason I love the festival the most is the incredible speakers that come to share their wealth of knowledge.

Percy Schmeiser was the highlight for me at the Festival in 2008.  His story is one to know. He is fighting a battle on our behalf. A battle that’s final outcome will not directly effect his life, but it will effect ours. He is devoting his time, money, life energy and integrity to protect our right to save seeds and our right to know whether we are consuming GMO or not. This may not sound like a pressing matter to many of our generation that purchase their groceries at the store and are disconnected from the growing process, but to people who have spent their lives growing and improving food (naturally) this is an issue second to none. It is a very polarized issue and which ever side of the fence you sit on it is impossible to not appreciate the courage, fortitude and strength of this exceptional man.

Sorry, that was a bit of a tangent. Let’s chat about the festival THIS year ;)

This year, the gold star went to Carolyn Herriot from The Garden Path. Carolyn is a local advocate for food self-sufficiency, seed saving, and organic gardening. At the festival, she was having a book launch for her new book, The Zero Mile Diet. She is such an inspirational speaker and another person that I feel has our back when we don’t even realize we need it.

Another sweet surprise for me was seeing The Malahat Revue for the first time. They were fabulous and, come on, how do you not love a band that tours by bike ;)

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