Early in 2020, our editorial team envisioned the general look and feel of the covers and themes for the year ahead: four issues, four seasons, four elements. It would be elegant, inspiring, and simple.

Of course, COVID-19 blew that up. There was no chance of producing a summer issue as we—along with the rest of the world—focused on other things: health, family, safety, community. Some of us found ourselves less busy, but many of us actually got busier as we tried to adapt to life in a pandemic.

We are very excited to present our first double issue with two distinct covers and layouts and more pages than ever before. Flip the magazine over for our summer content, which is largely inspired by the element of fire.

Over on this side, many of the stories were born of (and/or borne by) the salt and fresh water that abundantly surround us.

Water is the element of autumn. It’s associated with change, regeneration, strength, purification, and emotion (particularly love), making it a fitting metaphor for what we’re currently living through.

Since COVID arrived in the province, we’ve all been moving through the stages of grief in our own way, and we will probably be mourning the loss of “what was” for a long time to come.

But, inevitably, we’re beginning to figure out ways to cope, to manage, and to thrive. This issue celebrates the positive spirit that’s alive and well in the Comox Valley, fully ignited and carrying us through the uncertain times ahead.

We’ve always been about sharing stories of adventure, perseverance, creativity, and beauty, and that goes double for this issue. As always, we’re inspired and proud to be part of this incredible community. We hope our content makes you feel the same.

Thank you for continuing to be calm, kind, and safe. Thank you for supporting each other. Thank you for keeping your distance. Thank you for wearing a mask.

And thank you for reading this and being a part of this collective.